How to deal with being scammed online?
Most people doubt they’ll be the victim of an online scam; however, the Federal Trade Commission says otherwise, receiving more than 2.8 billion fraud reports in 2021. Most of those reports include imposter and online shopping scams, sweepstakes, job opportunities, internet services, and more. If you are the victim of one of the many online scams and want to learn How to deal with being scammed online.
Table of Contents:
What to do if you’ve been scammed online?
Depending on the type of scam you are dealing with, there are specific steps you should take to recover the damages. As we mentioned, imposter scams are among the most reported online scams. This scam can be conducted in many ways but is usually handled similarly. In this scam, a scammer disguises their identity as someone you trust and convinces you to send money willingly. The scammer can be pretending to be a service representative, a job interviewer, the IRS, or just about anyone. Whomever they claim to be, here is how you should handle the aftermath:
· Document any evidence of the scam. Make sure to include phone numbers, websites, emails, etc. This will help with an investigation.
· Contact your credit or debit card company and report any transactions as fraud, so you can potentially get your money back. · Report the crime to the Federal Trade Commission · Report the crime to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center USA.gov’s scam reporting website is also a great tool to help identify what scam you are a victim of and what government or consumer agency you should report it to.
Another type of imposter scam costing victims millions of dollars is a romance scam, also known as a dating scam. A romance scam is an organized criminal activity where a fraudster pretends to be in a romantic relationship with someone to gain access to their finances. The fraudster typically creates a false identity and attempts to build a relationship with their victim, often making up similar interests or other hardships to gain their trust. These criminals will ask for money to help with medical bills, rent, or other expenses.
Follow these steps once you’ve become a victim of a romance scam:
· Document as much evidence as you can.
· Lock down all your social media accounts by setting them private and updating your passwords.
· Do not send any more money to your scammer, even if they begin to threaten you.
· Block and report them from your social media.
· Make a report to your local authorities. · Report the crime to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center
How do I recover from being scammed?
Being scammed can be a significant setback financially, emotionally, and mentally. But there’s always a way out, beginning with knowing your options.
1. Accept that you have been scammed.
The first step towards recovering from being scammed is accepting it has happened. Many people tend to rationalize or deny being scammed, thinking it would make them feel better. But the truth is, denying or minimizing the impact of the scam only prolongs the recovery process. Accepting that you have been scammed is not a sign of weakness but a step towards regaining control and seeking help.
2. Report the scam to the authorities.
Once you have accepted that you have been scammed, report the incident to the authorities, such as the police, your bank’s fraud department, or the Federal Trade Commission. Reporting the scam may not necessarily lead to you getting your money back, but it may help prevent others from falling victim to the same scam. Reporting the incident may also be required to file insurance claims or to dispute charges on your credit card.
3. Cut off contact with the scammer and their associates.
Scammers often keep in touch with their victims even after the initial scam. They may try to extract your personal information, ask for more money, or threaten you. Block their phone numbers, emails, or social media accounts and report suspicious messages or calls to the authorities.
4. Educate yourself and others on how to avoid scams.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to avoiding scams. Please educate yourself on the common types of scams, how to spot them, and how to protect yourself. Share your experience and knowledge with others, especially your loved ones. Helping others avoid scams can be a way to turn your negative experience into a positive impact.
5. Seek support from trusted sources.
Being scammed can affect your mental health, relationships, and confidence. Seeking support from trusted sources, such as friends, family, a counselor, or a support group, can help you cope with the aftermath of the scam. You may also consider seeking financial advice, especially if the fraud has left you in debt or damaged your credit. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support; it can make a big difference in your recovery.
Recovering from being scammed takes time, effort, and resilience, but it’s possible. By accepting the reality of the scam, reporting it to the authorities, cutting off contact with the scammer, educating yourself and others, and seeking support, you can rise above the setback and move forward with renewed confidence and awareness. Remember that scams may come and go, but your integrity and recovery are worth protecting. Now you know, How to deal with being scammed online. It’s time to act