What steps to take if you get scammed becomes very important when you finally figure out you just got scammed. You had a gut feeling something was wrong,but a fast talking salesperson fooled you. Or the product you ended up with is not at all what you imagined it would be.Now,you feel stupid and helpless. To answer that, I have created this review to help others know what they can do.
What Steps to Take When You Get Scammed Overview
I know the feeling, I’ve been there! That is why I started this site.
My goal was to help people in this situation. I sadly hear the same sad story. I can relate because I was a victim as well.
“They took my money, now what do I do?”
Victims are sick to there stomach and need to know as quickly as possible, what can be done to get their money back. They need help now. They may have just lost their entire life savings to some scam. These are hard lessons and very painful to endure.
As I said, I have been scammed, and I know that devastating and hopeless feeling. Victims need to know what to do! They need to know right away! So, here in detail I explain what steps to take if you get scammed. I do this and got my money back, maybe you can too!
When You Get Scammed-You Need a Plan
In order to help others, I needed to create a step by step list of things I did to get my money back. You can see my desktop version of the checklist here.If something like that would have been available, I know it would have helped me a lot. Some guide to show exactly what I can do and when to do each thing.
I know first hand, that once the reality of actually losing your hard earned money sinks in, it becomes a terror in your mind. You have been scammed and you start to think, what am I going to do now? If it was your savings and all you had in the world, it is devastating.
You are thinking I really needed that money, and now it’s gone! Or maybe you are stuck with a product that is totally worthless. Either way it’s sickening.
You Are Not Alone, Scams Are On The Rise
Well, first of all, Don’t Panic! Whenever people get scammed, they feel frightened, helpless, and stupid. Because the fact is, you have been robbed of your hard earned money. It’s a normal feeling, but very painful.
Now, You are going to have to fight to get your money back and I am going to help you do it. Remember, NOBODY is going to fight as hard as you, because it is YOUR money, not theirs.
You need real ammunition, and that is what I am going to give you. I am going to give you a list of the most helpful agencies and get you started on getting your money back. I am going to tell you how I did it.
When you are armed with powerful information you can fight back. It is not going to be easy, but it’s not as hard as you may think.Why let them get away with it? It’s your money! So, let’s get this battle started.
Here Is Your 4 Step Plan
<< Print a copy of my checklist and put it by your computer or phone >>
1. Call the bank and stop payment
Don’t hesitate, call the bank immediately and stop any payment you can.If payment was made by check, debit or credit card, you keep the money. Unauthorized charges put on your card, are limited by federal law to $50. Or, if they have future payments coming…it will stop them!
2. Put a Hold on Your Credit Card or Cancel the Card
If you authorized them to take money,before you realized it was a scam, then you need to put a hold on your credit card or cancel it completely to stop any future automatic payments, and to keep the crooks from using it in the future.
If it was a money order, report it to the Post Office, they do not take fraud lightly.
It’s much easier to stop them from getting your money in the first place, instead of trying to get it back once they have it.
3. Organize Your Records
Get all your records together and in order by date of first payment to the last payment, what the payments were for? How much were they for?
Who did you pay, what was his name, phone number, email address, and his title in the company.
What did the contract promise you? Write down in your own words exactly what you were to receive for your money, whether it was a service or product.
How did it fall short of your expectations? Why?
What is the return or cancellation policy? Is there any warranty on the product?
4. File a Police Report and/or Contact the Attorney Generals Office
After you have called your bank to stop any payments you can, then file a crime report with you local police department and tell them what happened.
Once you have that done,I always recommend filing a report with :
Attorney Generals Office in your state.
Call The Attorney General Before You Hire a Lawyer
They will attempt to help you at no cost. So, before you hire an attorney, give them a shot at your case.You may save yourself thousands in attorney fees.They will not help you if you have already involved an attorney, so call them first.
The way they work is they will use the influence of their office to try to persuade the guilty parties to refund your money. Sometimes, they don’t succeed, but more than not they do!
I have used the Attorney General many times in personal consumer issues and I can tell you, they are extremely helpful. Reputable companies do not want the Attorney Generals Office contacting them. Businesses will often cooperate quickly to get the matter settled promptly when the Attorney Generals Office is involved
IC3 Deals With More Scams Every Year
IC3 or Internet Crime Complaint Center http://www.ic3.gov/
If you have a tip or email that is suspected to be a scam or fraud – FBI Online Tip Form
(IC3) is the easiest source to use because it operates in partnership with the other FBI agencies below.
FBI Cyber Crime Division – https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyber
National White Collar Crime Center– http://www.nw3c.org/ or FBI NWC3
Bureau of Justice Assistance – https://www.bja.gov/ or BJA
How to File a Complaint With The FTC- Here is a short video
Other Resources For Victims
National Consumers League or NCL
Better Business Bureau or BBB
To report tax fraud or scams
Protect Yourself From Scams in the Future
helpforscamsandfrauds.com -offering scam tips as well as the best things you can do right away and why.
Scambusters.org a good source of additional scams to be aware of.
OnGuardOnline.gov Is a good guide for online dating with good tips, advise and where to report dating scams.
For Crimes Outside the U.S.
Contact: International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network or ICPEN. http://www.icpen.org/
They are a group of consumer protection agencies from over 50 countries. Their purpose it to protect the financial interests of consumers globally.They do this by sharing commercial activities affecting consumer welfare.Also, by encouraging cooperation with law enforcement across international borders.
Ways to avoid scams
Always deal with known reputable companies
Be sure they have a phone number, and a physical address.Also, check with the BBB, and local consumer agency to be sure they are a legitimate business.
Don’t answer unsolicited emails and unrelated pop-up ads
Crooks are trying to capture your email address. If you do get spammed by constant emails, report them to you email provider.
If they are harassing you on social networks like Facebook, report them using the report links near most content types and features on Facebook.
You can read more about how Scams Target Business Emails, and learn different ways the crooks use emails to target victims.
Emails with offers for money or asking for emergency money are scams
One good way to check is to type the name of the person or a few sentences of the letter into google search. The letter may show up under another name.
Look for the warranty and check the terms and conditions
Check out the details, delivery time, total price, refunds and cancellations. This isn’t foolproof either, but the scammers push for payments and offer little information.
Do not give out personal information
Especially to people who should have that information already, such as your bank. Scammers like to impersonate banks and ask for your social security number. Be sure the company you are talking to is who they say they are. Remember you are your own Personal Fraud Protection
There is no get rich quick scheme
Beware of claims of easy money and ways to get rich quick. Anyone who tells you this,is trying to scam you.Nobody wants anyone with “no credit or bad credit,” that is a fact! When a promotion states: “bad credit or no credit,no problem” beware.That is a major RED FLAG!.
People with low credit scores pay higher interest rates. Usually, credit scores are based on credit history. If your history is not good, you will not be approved. The bottom line is they are trying to sell you something that is likely a total scam.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is
You can’t win a contest you did not enter. If someone tells you, that you are a winner in a contest you don’t remember entering, you probably didn’t enter it. Crooks use contests and forms to get you filling out your information. Make sure it is a reputable company running the contest, before you give personal information to others.
Be smart, be aware, think about the situation
Contact friends and ask their opinion, before you end up giving your hard earned money away. Give your money slowly, and say no quickly. Here are some more tips in my article Popular Internet Scams.
If you need more help, please leave your name and address below, and I will get back to you ASAP. If this has helped you in any way, please let me know. I appreciate any comments.
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