The Federal Trade Commission is urging Americans who have been previously scammed to watch for signs that they are being scammed again. According to FTC Consumer Education Specialist Lisa Lake, those who have been swindled are often targeted again.
"Con artists contact you because you’re on their lists of people who lost money to scams," she said. "For a 'small fee' or 'donation' upfront, they promise to recover the money you lost from a prize scheme, bogus product offer or some other scam."
Often, con artists will go online looking for those who have been scammed. The scammers will often pose as government agencies or businesses, promising services for an up-front fee.
Once the fee is paid, the scammers are long gone, with your money.
Gray has four recommendations to prevent getting scammed again:
- Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things – like help with recovering from a scam. Consider it a no-go if they ask you for money before they provide any “help”.
- Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected text, phone call, or email.
- Do online searches. Type the name or contact information into your favorite search engine with the term “complaint” or “scam.”
- Sign up for the FTC’s free scam alerts at ftc.gov/scams for the latest tips and advice about scams.