Ngā Tāware Whakahoki Pūtea

Recovery room scams

If you have lost money to a scam, online attackers may target you again by pretending to help get your funds back.

What it is 

Recovery room scams, also called 'follow-up fraud', are ones where scammers pretend to help you recover funds you have lost to a previous scam.  

In reality, they are trying to get more money or your sensitive information which they can use for another scam later. Recovery room scams typically target those who have lost large sums of money, such as in investment or cryptocurrency scams.

If you’ve been affected by a recovery room scam, find out how to get help now.

Get help now

How it works 

In many cases, the people who scammed you previously may approach you again, posing as someone else and offering to help you recover your money. But it might also be a completely different set of scammers. 

They will charge you fees in return for helping you get your money back. They may also try to get your credit card details or other important information. Others may ask you to allow them remote access into your computer.

Once the fee has been paid or once the scammers have the information they were after, they usually cut contact.

There are a few different ways scammers can get your details and contact you. 

  • Recovery room scammers actively look for people on social media and online forums saying they have lost money. The scammers comment on posts offering to help get the money back.  
  • Some scammers create websites posing as 'recovery agencies' and wait to be contacted by people for help with recovering money. These websites often look genuine and even have fake reviews and testimonials from people who "managed to get their money back". Once you fill in their forms, they have your details which they will use to contact you. 
  • Some platforms let advertisers target people based on search and browsing history. If you look online for help with recovering funds lost to a scam, you may find ads from these companies pop up in your feed. Scammers can use this to advertise their fake recovery websites. 
  • Scammers can also obtain your data from other scammers, via lists which are traded online. When they approach you, they already know things like how much money you lost and how you lost it. This gives them more credibility.  
  • Once attackers have your information, they will call or email you pretending to be a recovery specialist who can help you recover lost funds. A common tactic we have seen scammers use is to help you with a ‘chargeback request’ to your bank. They give you a form to fill in and send to your bank, asking it to reverse the payments you made to a scammer. But these chargeback requests often quote laws that are not relevant to New Zealand and the banks cannot do anything with them. 
  • Scammers may also approach you pretending to be from a law enforcement agency or a member of the fraud team at your bank.