3/11/2016 12:49:26 PM
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently issued a consumer advisory on a new scam targeting seniors that packs a double whammy. These so-called ”asset recovery” companies target individuals who have already been victims of fraud – typically in speculative investments or timeshare scams - and scam them again, falsely promising to get their money back.
The Minnesota Commerce Department warns Minnesotans to not fall victim again by sending money.
“Asset recovery scams are particularly egregious because they prey on seniors who have already been victimized,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “I urge seniors to continue to be vigilant and safeguard their personal information. If you suspect fraud or have been the victim of a scam, call the Commerce Department.”
Keep an eye out for “asset recovery” companies that will contact a consumer or investor who has been defrauded by a money-making scheme. They promise to get your money back. They charge an upfront fee and it’s unlikely they will ever deliver on their promise.
These companies claim they have expertise to recover the lost money or file a complaint. But most of the services they offer, such as contacting your credit card money or a government agency, can easily be done for free.
The Commerce Department offers tips for Minnesotans who have been a victim of a scam:
If you paid for a service with a credit card and realize it might be fraudulent, contact your credit card company right away and see if you can dispute the charge. There is a limited time period to report fraud to avoid liability for unauthorized charges.
If you have questions or concerns about possible fraud or identity theft, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at email@example.com or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).
If you have questions or concerns about a potential fraud or scam, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-857-3602 (Greater Minnesota).