Five Steps To Take After You Have Been Scammed

Police Man and Police Woman

Report scammers and do not stay silent!

Scammers are so excited to get your money. They try all the scheme possible. It could come in the form of an email phishing, text message, an online post, a robocall, free trials, mobile phone phishing, or even someone who came to your house. This can be so upsetting!

It is not easy to get the justice you want when a scam happens to you. Scammers are so clever that they make sure they cover their tracks. It is important to know what to do.

  • Call your credit card company and your bank especially if you used your credit card number or if you gave your personal information to a scammer. They will hold your account so charges cannot be made. Do not call any number coming from an email because it could be a phishing scam.
  • File a report. Promptly file a police report particularly when the money was stolen in your own account. The bank and your credit card might ask for a copy. Report the scam to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Give all the information needed about the scammer, and also the date of transaction. Get in touch with Trading Standards as scamming is a criminal offense. This is under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulation 2008. They will take action.
  • Report a Fraud Victim Statement with the 3 major Credit Bureaus. File the report to TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. This will put a note that you have been a victim of a fraud. The note also indicates that any business trying to pull your credit report should call you on the phone numbers you provided when you actually reported the fraud alert. When someone calls you, you can tell them that you did not give any authorization for any inquiry on your credit. Anybody who tries to open your account is a scammer.
  • Do a “Security Freeze” of your credit reports. This will help stop ID thieves from opening accounts using your identity. Check on the advantages and disadvantages of security freeze on your credit reports.
  • Scan your computer and update your anti-malware software. Your scam-related email may have planted links to a malware that can damage your computer. This malware could get your account information and send it to the scammer and this will surely damage you. To avoid this, update your anti-malware software. Make sure you install programs that to not clash with each other like MalwareBytes and Microsoft Security Essentials. There are premium versions and there are also freeware. Check which one you think can protect your computer.
  • Tell your family that you have been scammed and you are doing the necessary steps to lessen the situation. By doing so, you are also protecting them so that they will not be the next victim. Inform them on: the different scams, and how to prevent these online scams. Tell someone, share your experience on social media, and report the scammers. The more you wait, the more time you need to recover. Your sharing will greatly help others.