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Recovery fraud

Recovery fraud is where a victim of crime is approached by someone saying they're a lawyer, a law enforcement officer or a government official who say they can recover some lost money eg court fees. 

If you respond to them they'll ask you to make various payments to them, such as release and administration fees.

If you pay they'll keep coming back asking for more. If you ask them to take the fees from money they're going to recover for you, they'll give reasons why they can't. For example, your money is under the control of a court and can only be paid back to you personally.

What to do if you’re a victim?

  • Report it to Action Fraud.
  • Break off all contact with the fraudsters.
  • Don’t send any more money.
  • If you have given the fraudsters your bank account details, alert your bank immediately.

Protect yourself against fraud recovery fraud

  • Beware of any unsolicited communication you receive about being a victim of fraud from people, or companies you’ve never contacted. 
  • If they sound plausible, ask where they found out that you had been a victim. Reports of fraud are subject to data protection and aren't normally shared with anyone outside of law enforcement.
  • Genuine law enforcement and other agencies don’t charge to return money to crime victims. Any request for fees indicates a fraud. 
  • Criminals operating this type of fraud often use the names of genuine law firms and agencies. Check contact details the fraudsters give you against the real company’s details. 
  • Genuine government or law enforcement agencies and law firms don’t normally use webmail addresses such as @Yahoo or @Hotmail.
  • Overseas law enforcement and other official organisations normally ask UK authorities to help return money to fraud victims. If someone claiming to work for an official overseas agency contacts you directly, this is a good indicator of fraud.
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