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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.

15 Tips to Prevent Online Scams

Free stock photo of police, money, crime, financeScammers will do anything just to defraud people of their money. They will use different schemes just for you to give them some vital information and send your money. You have to be way ahead of these cyber perpetrators.

Here are some tips that can help you:

  • Be attentive when dealing with uninvited contact who tries to prove that they are someone you can really trust. If the deal is too inviting, it is not a good deal so it is better not to entertain it.
  • Research online – go to your preferred search engine and check the company’s name or product and use words like complaint, scam, or review. Find out if someone reported them as scammers.
  • Even if you have a caller ID – caller ID name, info and the number, a  call could still be fake. Hang up and do not rely on Caller ID!
  • Protect your personal information – protect passwords and pin numbers and do not share your personal information anywhere especially in social media.
  • Select difficult passwords – no one should be able to guess what your passwords are. A strong password compose of both lower and upper case letters, numbers or symbols. Never share your passwords to anybody.
  • Don’t pay – scammers will surely ask you to pay in advance. Report them instead!
  • Think of how you pay – When shopping online, do not wire money using Western Union or MoneyGram because if there is a problem, you can never have your money back. The same goes for Vanilla, Reloadit and MoneyPak.
  • Do not deposit your check and wire the money back – if the check is fake, you will have to repay the bank.
  • Do not make hasty decisions– Avoid purchasing things online without thinking twice. Talk to someone first. Scammers are happy when you are excited and careless on your decision. Do a search first.
  • No to robocalls – hang up once you hear a recorded sales pitch. This is illegal. Inform Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Avoid pressing anything. This could mean more phone calls.
  • Say no to free trials– never sign up for products. Find out all about the company and its cancellation policy. If you fail to do so, there could be a monthly bill.
  • Stop opening anything – it could be a text, email, or a pop-up. Check the identity of the contact first, browse a phone book, or do an online search. Do not use the contact numbers in the message.
  • Review your social media’s security settings and privacy – just to make sure if there is any suspicious behavior. If so, quickly click on spam. Protect your account and then report.
  • Be careful when you do online shopping – Only deal with online shopping service that you trust. Avoid using virtual currencies like bitcoin. Choose another transaction method just in case you want your money back.
  • Sign up with FTC to do free scam alerts at ftc.gov/scams. They will message their advice and tips in your inbox. If you run into scam, report at ftc.gov/complaint. They will look into the matter.

Stop scams from happening to you. Know about the online scams, click here to know more about it.