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What Steps to Take if You Get Scammed — 20 Comments

  1. Oh wow…you aren’t kidding about how helpless, dumb and panicked you feel when you finally realize you’ve been scammed! I has happened to me…more than once, I hate to admit :/ Your very extensive list of things to do and contacts is definitely something I wish I had at the time. I will be making a copy of it, as well as keeping your contact info around. 

    I do have a question about a student loan forgiveness scam that I got sucked into a couple years ago. I paid $795 and then found out it was a scam and they are now being sued so there is no way for me to get my money back while they are in this process… My question is…once this case is settled will I get my $795 back, or am I just out that money forever?

    Thank you for all of the great info 🙂

    Chris

    • Hi MissChriss,

      It is an awful feeling and you have no where to escape it, it haunts you! 

      I am glad you find the list useful.

      Unfortunately, I am not familiar with that scam. Give me the name, and I will see what I can find out.

      Chances are, you will only get pennies on the dollar if that! If they filed bankruptcy, they are protected from creditors(you are one).

      Have you been contacted? You can contact the attorneys if you know who they are. You may also get some help finding out some info from the Attorney General Office. Try them?

      Thanks for the great comments!

      Chas

  2. Hello Chas. Thank you for sharing this awesome information with us. These steps are powerful and I know they would be effective for anyone that has been scammed. I have not been scammed before because I look for much reviews before attempting to buy any product Online. If by any way I get scammed, this article will be useful.

    • Hi BEazzy,

      I am glad you find the article useful.

      Keep on checking everyone out, it’s the best thing to do! However, you can become a victim and not even know. Check out my article Caught in the River City Media Data Breach.

      I actually had my information stolen from somewhere I never knew who they were! You never know! Sometimes, you are lucky as well. You may not be able to find any reviews on a product you want someday.

      Thanks for your comments,

      Chas

  3. Hi there!

    Thank you for sharing this useful post to the victims of fraudulent outthere. Unfortunately, when it happened to me there was no post or anybody who could help me. So thank you for telling everyone step by step since I learned it the hard way.

    I am always and have been very careful when it comes to my hard earned money. I never bought anything online using my debit card or checking account, unfortunately somehow they managed to make a purchase from my account several times, now the bank has me on the too list loll, they call me right away in person if there is some funny activity in my account. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but at least I am aware of what is going on.

    I find that if you are checking your bank acct and your cc activity everyday, it helps. You should be on top of your finance. You are totally righy! You are the one who should watch over YOUR MONEY. 

    Anyway, very informative post, thank you for sharing step by step useful information for us!

    Nuttanee

    • Hi Nuttanee,

      I am sorry to hear you got scammed as well.  I hear about it quite often and it is still heartbreaking every time I hear about another one.

      I think it is a great thing they call you and let you know. But, my credit cards seem to call when it’s me using the card!! that gets rather annoying. Better safe than sorry, right?

      When I got scammed, I decided to fight back, and that is how the website got started. 

      Thanks for your great questions!

      Chas

  4. Hi Chas, it’s sad that there are so many scams around now, and it seems to be growing by the day. The ones I see often have similar characteristics – they promise a system to generate money with little or no effort required; the website is essentially a voice over video with fake testimonials and little other information on the site; there is requirement to pay money before really understanding what it is you are getting for that money. Like you say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    In my view there is no such thing as free money. You have to put in effort and time in order to make money and the internet is no different. 

    Thanks for sharing your strategies with people who find themselves in this situation. 

    • Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for the kind words. Yes,almost everyday we hear of more scams. Sometime people are not aware of all the scams out there, and they want the easy money. But it is just not true.

      I always takes hard work to accomplish any legitimate way to make money.

      thanks you for the great comments,

      Chas

  5. This is very useful information, thank you for sharing it.

    I did not know you can contact the Attorney General’s office directly for help.  I wonder if I can do that in the country I’m in.  I will check it out.  For international frauds, I can still report to the FBI Cyber division as per your article I think.

    Your article gives a little ease at the thought of knowing what to do if I was defrauded.

    I will bookmark your article as a precautionary measure.

    Thank you for the great advice!

    • Hi Cath,

      I am in the USA, and that is how it works in this country. You will have to check the laws with your authorities and see if you have a similar department. Yes, if it is an international fraud, you may be able to get help form the FBI.

      I am glad you found the article useful, Cath.

      Thanks for the great questions.

      Chas

  6. I personally think it’s a lost cause, depending on how much money you were scammed for. Something like $50 lost to a scam hardly seems worth the time and effort let alone the expense of getting a lawyer or calling the attorney general because at the end of the day, someone who has been scammed for anything less that $10,000 is likely to spend more than that trying to regain what was lost. The best thing to do is to try to avoid scams and the best way to do that is to do thorough research on a company or product prior to making a purchase.  It saves a lot of time, money and headaches.

    • Hello,

      It is not a lost cause, and $50 is $50. It doesn’t cost anything but the time to fill out a complaint to the Attorney Generals Office. You can do it online, and it is free! So, if it takes you 15 minutes and you get $50 back, that would be $200 an hour at a job.

      The AG office does not charge you anything. If you have a valid complaint, you may receive all your money back. If they aren’t successful, then you hire an attorney. Yes, it could cost a few thousand.

      You are right, the best thing is to avoid scams! But, most times people who get caught in the scams, don’t take the time to check people out. They trust others to do the right thing, and of course it is a big mistake!

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Chas

  7. vibrant has screwed me. they wont answer the phones my emails nothing. they even shut down my site and are ignoring me I need help plz!

    • Hi Shirley,
      You can start by following the advice in What Steps To Take If You Get Scammed. Get your records together, and contact the Attorney Generals Office. File a police report to protect yourself, and don’t get a lawyer just yet. The Attorney Generals Office won’t help you if you do. They may be able to get your money back. Tell them exactly what Vibrant Web did, and how you can’t use your website you paid for. You want your money back. Also file reports with the online agencies, the IC3 of the FBI and the FTC. You will find the addresses in my article.Or check out my new condensed checklist I have posted! Good luck and if you need anything else, let me know.
      Chas

  8. Julia Gifford,

    My story is almost as yours on Vibrant Web. I lost my job, and thought this would be a great way to earn money until I found a job. I so much wish I could get a refund. Have you found a successful method to do so?

    Thank you so much for any help you may provide.

    Nancy

    • Hi Nancy,
      I suppose you meant to contact me, Chas, not Julia Gifford?? Anyway, yes just do as I have written down in what steps to take if you get scammed and contact the police,and/or Attorney Generals Office in your state. They will contact you.
      If you want, call Vibrant Web first and demand a refund. Tell them you are not satisfied with their product, it doesn’t work and is not what they told you it was going to be. If they refuse to give you a refund, then contact the Attorney General, and file a report.
      Look at my post solutions for scams as well under the help section.
      You most certainly can get your money back, I have and others have as well. But be firm and committed about it, you will be told a sad sack story of how they put all the work in, blah, blah…and want paid for it, but it is a junk site or you would not be here right now.
      If you ever want to know what a working website actually looks like, you can take advantage of the no scam free offer to join Wealthy Affiliates for free and take a look inside.
      Good luck Nancy, and if you need more help just drop another email, and I will get back to you.
      Chas

  9. Everything I have read negative about this company has happened to me. They are like flies on poop until the get all the money they want from you. I started with them 2/15/15. Initial investment was 2.5K the next day was offered a big discount after a meeting with the owners. I suckered in for another 2.5K for a better looking site. 2 days later same scamer call and now I am being offered the Royals Royce site for huge discount, and no more sales pitches. I’m an idiot it took a few days and I gave them 5K more from my pension. I had 1 phone appointment with the ‘support manager’ and some email links to google Adsense, Amazon and eBay. My next phone appointment was set for 1 week later. A guy called and said support manager was in meeting and that she would call me back. She never called me back. I have sent countless emails to her with no reply. On 3/29/16 I received an email from them, congratulations on your new website, a complete different name involving electronic. I have had the flu the last week and have not looked at this new junk! Oh I forgot to mention that I got an email 3 weeks ago that my application for Amazon affiliate had been rejected because it looked like some web company had built or helped me build the site and it copied their info to my site. Also my website would bring no traffic to Amazon! Now today I’m getting calls from a company in Utah, Next Gen Tax, to help me move personal debt into business debt! WTF? I feel like a Mac truck was driven up my butt and decided to stay awhile………….10K in the hole and depressed!

    • Hi Scott,
      I am sorry to hear that you have gotten taken as well Scott, it is like a very bad nightmare that turns out to be very real! They have mostly salespeople that are getting paid by commission to sell, sell, sell. When it is all said and done, you have a site that doesn’t work properly,if at all.And you paid Vibrant Web top dollar for it.Also, very sad when Amazon tells you they copied Amazon stuff, and put it in there, rather than install it properly. I wondered why I never got one sale from Amazon on my site! No wonder!
      You are on the right page Scott, and I will tell you it won’t get any better.
      What Steps to Take if You Get Scammed
      They will continue to promise you more, maybe the store that has merchandise you buy real cheap and sell for top dollar…but, it will cost 5k more, then something else…maybe 10k more.
      You have to decide: Have you been promised more than they delivered? Of course! So, I would suggest you get all you records together, write down everything they promised you,and what little you received, get all your records together and file a police report against them for deceptive business practices.Then contact the Attorney Generals Office, and follow the additional steps above.
      Let me know if I can help in any way, and I wish you the best of luck! Keep in touch!
      Chas

  10. Well you are right. Vibrant Web gave me that hefty sales pitch, and I fell for it hook line and sinker. Now, I am just sick and feel so helpless. They do not want me to control their so called website. They think I am dumb. I feel sorry for the people that don’t even know how to copy and paste, much less run an eBay store. They have been had big time! I knew after the 3r week! So sick to my stomach. I signed up Oct. 13, 2015, and just wasted so much money on my credit card with these scammers. They are so rude, like I told them “Now you have got my money and I am not important any more!” Just so hard to believe I was so stupid to fall for this scam. Now how do I get my money back, and forget these people. They do not want me to have any control. There are no 450 drop shippers. What a lie! When you sell something, you have to email them with the order. Then, before you know it, they have emailed your buyer, and said so sorry this item is out of stock. They even can even give the refund back from your “PayPal account. How scary, and how mad I was the first time this happened. But no matter how much I complained and all of those refunds stock is out will have to refund you. I just can not believe this! They want fix my website. I have not made a dime out of selling any of those products. The stock is not ever there. just lots of returns. The are telling me that they will take care of my eBay store and I am saying NO you wont! They have given me nothing but lots of headaches and no money to speak of. Just lost money. One sad person who does not know what to do.

    • Hi Julie,
      Each time I hear these stories I get sick. Yep, they control the site! They intend to keep telling you to give them more and more money!
      Everything they tell you is a lie. If you can still contact them, tell them you want your money back! I looked at your site and it is terribly slow to load. It took 60secs for your site to load! It is not properly configured,it should be about 3secs or less to load your home page,then load the rest in the background unnoticed.It is not functioning properly! Check it yourself here:
      Sorry, I posted the wrong link…here it is.

      http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
      Here is the test:
      http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/#!/bvy8bO/http://sports4everybody.com/

      I would file a police report myself, because they issued funds without your permission thru Paypal.

      File a report with the Attorney Generals Office in your state, the addresses can be found here:

      http://helpforscamsandfrauds.com/what-steps-to-take-if-you-get-scammed/
      http://helpforscamsandfrauds.com/solutions-for-scams-and-frauds/

      Also, file reports with the FBI-Ic3 Division, and any of the other sites listed.
      Vibrant Web just destroys everybody’s business on the web, it is awful! I found Wealthy Affiliates after I got scammed by them!
      I am so glad I did!
      If you want to learn how a website is truly supposed to be built, and it is not that difficult, please check out my page:

      http://helpforscamsandfrauds.com/build-a-website/ Then YOU control everything!
      It costs nothing to take a look. You will be surprised to learn everything they use to build your site is available for free!
      It will take some time for everything to work, and I hope you let me know how everything works out.
      If you have anymore questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
      I wish you the best!
      Chas

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