Living Here Guide

Scammers target scam victims looking to recoup lost money

Veronica Craker, Better Business Bureau Northwest +Pacifi
Veronica Craker, Better Business Bureau Northwest +Pacifi

It’s bad enough there are con artists out there looking for victims to steal from, and now they are setting their sights on previous scam victims. These scammers want victims to believe they could get their money back, and in turn, victims end up losing even more money .

Your Better Business Bureau has received reports in the past from former victims of a tech support scam who say they were contacted by someone informing them they could get money back after a scam investigation. All the victims need to do is provide their banking information over the phone. Sometimes there is even a small fee required in order to obtain the funds.

If you have lost money to a scam, the thought of getting a little bit back can be so tempting. But, if you get a similar email from someone claiming to be with law enforcement, you have your research cut out for you. Don’t click any links, and reach out to the agency directly to inquire about any settlement.

The most recent account of scammers targeting past victims come from the Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The FBI reports these con artists are tricking victims into handing over personal information and downloading malicious files.

In one incident the scammers emailed a victim requesting they provide additional information on their case in order to be paid restitution. The email included links to news articles detailing the arrest of the internet scammer. The email also included a document that needed to be downloaded, filled out by the recipient and returned in order to process the complaint. However, the file contained malware meant to victimize the recipient further.

Since then, there have been at least three other versions of the IC3 impersonation scam. In one con, scammers created a fake IC3 social media page that asked victims to provide information in order to report an internet crime. Another was an email that said the recipient’s name was found in a financial company’s database and, since the person was treated unfairly by the institution, they would be compensated. Of course, no such investigation had occurred. The email was simply a way to phish for the recipient’s information.

Remember, anytime you receive an email or phone call from someone you do not know, proceed with caution. Never give our personal or financial information and avoid clicking any links or downloading files.

If you have been a victim of a cybercrime, it is advised that you keep all of the documentation, emails, and correspondences to turn over to the investigator.

If you would like to file a complaint with the IC3 in regards to a cybercrime, you may do so online at www.ic3.gov. You can also report an incident to BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker.

Veronica Craker, veronica.craker@thebbb.org, is the content and communications director for Better Business Bureau Northwest +Pacific. To check a business or report a scam, go to bbb.org or call 208-342-4649.

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