DEFINITION of ‘Reloaded’
A slang term meaning that a consumer who was previously defrauded and put on a sucker’s list has been defrauded a second time, often using information from the original fraud. Reloaded consumers fall prey to scams where fraudsters say they can help them get back what they lost in the original fraud. These gullible consumers don’t realize they are being taken advantage of a second time and pay the scammer a fee for their bogus theft recovery services.
Also known as recovery room scam.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS ‘Reloaded’
Reloading scams are often committed against seniors and may involve fake sweepstakes or investments. Seniors who fall prey to one or more scams often have their names and contact information added to sucker lists that fraudsters exchange with each other to try to steal more money from these victims.
For example, the first scam might involve convincing the senior to purchase a fraudulent investment; the second scam might involve a fake attorney who offers to help the victim recover the money lost in the investment after he or she pays the fake attorney a “retainer” to secure the attorney’s “services.” The follow-on scam might also involve someone posing as law enforcement and asking the victim for a “court fee” to recover the money lost in the first scam.
Reloading scams can target any demographic, though financial scammers often target seniors because seniors may have reduced mental faculties and significant assets. These scams are often conducted by phone and considered telemarketing fraud. Compared with mail or email fraud, by talking to victims on the phone, scammers have a greater opportunity to convince them into the scam and to address the victim’s concerns with false reassurances. A phone conversation allows the scammer to subvert legitimate sales tactics to manipulate the victim into handing over valuable information or sending the fraudster money. Reloading scams can cost victims their entire life savings.