January 30, 2020

Protect Yourself: Don't Be Scammed Twice

The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) is alerting the public that some individuals who have already been impacted by a scam may be targeted again.

The “recovery pitch” scam and the “victim list” scam may be happening in the province.

The “recovery pitch” scam involves a consumer or investor that has previously lost money in a fraudulent situation.  Scammers will target these individuals with the claim that they will be able to recover all or some of the funds lost in the previous scheme.  Sometimes the caller is the person who scammed the individual in the first place.  The scam artist may claim to be a member of law enforcement or other type of authority to gain credibility. 

The “victim list” scam involves a list that is shared or sold among various underground scam artists.  When a consumer or investor has been scammed and shares money or even personal information with a scam artist, the person’s name is added to a “victim list”.  These scammers will contact the individuals on the list with various pitches in the hopes they will fall victim again.

“Be wary of anyone claiming they will be able to recover your money that was lost on a previous investment or scam,” Deputy Director of Enforcement with FCAA Harvey White said.  “Whether someone contacts you directly, or you happen across a recovery website on your own, anyone proposing to get back your money from a previous scam, should be treated with caution.  Typically, it is all but impossible to recover money lost on an investment scam.  While it may be tempting to work with these folks, who tend to promise large settlements in exchange for small fees, we urge you to be cautious of such claims.  If something sounds too good to be true, it often is.”

Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Being contacted out of the blue.
  • Promises that sound too good to be true.
  • Being pressured to act quickly. 
  • Unusual payment methods.

Tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not talk to people calling out of the blue claiming they can get your money back. 
  • If someone calls, emails or texts asking for your banking information, do not give it to them.   
  • Take time to think things through, regardless of what promises they make to try to entice you.  Always be cautious and seek advice from a professional advisor.  Never agree to anything you do not understand.  
  • Be suspicious if you are asked to pay with gift cards, bitcoin or other digital currency. 

If you have been contacted by someone offering to recover lost money, contact the Securities Division at 306-787-5936.  

For more information about scams and how to spot red flags visit: https://fcaa.gov.sk.ca/consumers-investors-pension-plan-members/investors/investment-fraud