Recovery room scammers prey on people who are already vulnerable in an attempt to take advantage of their state to steal money. As this type of scam is a safety concern, we'll be taking a look into what a recovery room scam is and what you can do to protect yourself from these scammers.

Just remember that if you need support or someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.


What is a recovery room scam?

A recovery room scam is a particularly insidious form of fraud that involves scammers posing as online agencies claiming to help scam victims get the funds they lost from dodgy schemes or other scams back for an upfront fee, only to steal from said scam victims.

These scammers will claim that they work for a bank, regulator, or government agency in an attempt to sound like they're legitimate. The scammers often also have victims' personal details because they've scammed them previously and are now using this information for a second scam attempt. Having a victim's personal details handy gives the scammers extra credibility and it works to their advantage as victims are almost certain to be desperate to get their money back.

Recovery room scammers will rarely explain their process of recovering a victim's money, and if they do, the explanation is usually a lie or implausible. They will always ask for an upfront fee, often by credit card or in cryptocurrency. Once payment has been made, the scammer will disappear.

What you can do to protect yourself from scammers

There are a number of ways you can avoid being scammed by a recovery room scammer:

  1. Be wary of anyone contacting you who:

    1. Claims to be with the police or a government agency

    2. Knows details about your lost money but you have never spoken to them before

    3. Promises to get your money back for a fee.

  2. Be suspicious of anyone promising to help get your scammed money back

    1. Hang up the phone and avoid engaging with them.

    2. Think about who legitimately knows that you’ve been a victim of fraud.

  3. Don’t share information with anyone unless you can confirm who they are

    1. Check their information and contact the real organisation they claim to be from. If it is unknown, hang up.

    2. Do not trust any confirmation contact information they provide.

  4. Never pay an upfront fee

  5. If you have suspicions that you have been a victim, report it to the relevant government department that specialises in investigating these matters:

    1. NZ Serious Fraud Office

    2. Scamwatch


If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from: Banking Ombudsman Scheme NZ, Ontario Securities Commission, and Financial Conduct Authority UK

Image credit: Kimi

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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