Another Type Of Scam That Promises To Investigate & Recover Your Money
Originally Published February 11, 2016
Updated August 14, 2021
After your scam, you are desperate to get your money back!
But you have heard and been told that it is impossible!
Money sent to scammers is lost and can never be recovered. This is true 99% of the time.
Even if the scammer is arrested, their property is usually seized by the local police or government. So in the case of most scammers, even if recovered it is still gone.
You already know about opportunities to recover money from Western Union and MoneyGram. In addition, there are ways that may work to recover money sent through a bank wire transfer and even local police can sometimes get your money back using the Interpol model.
There are other unique cases where African scammers have returned the money. However, since our founding in 2015, this has only happened twice with the nearly 7 million victims that we support.
In some countries in Asia, it is a little different. In some cases, the threat of arrest can cause the scammer to repay the victim – this happens more often in the Philippines. However, this has to be a real threat and not just talk. First file reports on www.Anyscam.com site so that it is on file with SCARS, and on any other anti-scamming sites you like. Notify the scammer of this, and that you will be filing a criminal complaint with their Philippines NBI & PNP Cybercrimes Unit. Offer the scammer that you will drop the complaint if they repay the money (take anything they can repay and consider yourself lucky).
In the case of Latin American scammers, the probability of recovery is close to zero, even if you obtain an arrest. However, you can use the same approach as with Philippines scammers. Latin American police are not great, but in some countries, they will act.
The only places where recovery is typically possible is the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe. If you file criminal complaints that result in an arrest, these national and local authorities routinely seize the scammer’s assets. However, most scammers do this as a living, and as such spent their proceeds.
We know that many victims give away their last cent on the scammer, and are desperate to recover their money.
Money Recovery & Investigating Scams
Unfortunately, most of the time money recovery is impossible. Of all the arrests we have helped come to pass, only once were any monies recovered, and this was from a scammer in the U.S. – but all victims have a right to restitution if they participate in a trial of a scammer going to court in the United States.
Scammers know who victims are. They maintain lists and databases. They sell information to other scammers.
It is not unusual for a victim to be contacted by someone claiming they are a scam investigator or a money recovery service.
If you are approached by anyone that offers you this type of service, here is what you want to do:
- Ask them for their incorporation information – what state, country they are incorporated – this is public record, and knowing the state you can look up this information on the state’s corporation search website.
- Ask them for their “private investigator’s license” number and where issued (what state). All private investigative services of this type have to be licensed in almost every country.
- Do not believe websites, reviews, or testimonials.
- Ask them for their fees. What they charge and what portion is upfront.
- Ask them if they require a contract – real companies will require this.
There are real investigative services out there that will track down your scammer for a price. You are better off not wasting your money after the fact because most of the time they will just tell you that you are scammed by someone in Nigeria, etc. This will NOT get you your money back and most (99%) of the time it will not result in an arrest.
If you want to investigate someone that you have made a connection with before sending anything, this would be advisable. JUST REMEMBER investigations are not free. If you suspect someone, you are better off blocking them, moving on, and saving your money.
If You Are Contacted By An Investigator / Money Recovery Service
- Ask them the questions above. If they provide real information then just ignore or block them. If they do not, then report them on www.Anyscam.com and to the FTC at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov
- If they say they do not need a license to investigate then report them to the local district or state attorney where they are located. Offering investigative services without a license is a crime.
- If you have already hired a company and paid money, threat this as fraud. Report it to your local police fraud department.
- Never respond to any solicitations about investigative or money recovery services unless you do a thorough background check on the service – some are real, most are not.
Your emotional recovery is really all you can control after a scam. You are advised to focus on this and accept your losses. Sorry, this is simply the bottom line truth!