What should I do in case of a scam?
Oh boy, they’ve got you! You’re now pretty sure you’ve been scammed. OK, take a deep breath and try to clear your mind. You may have a solution but you have to be quick and take the right actions. We’ve prepared a 6 steps-method to maximize your chances against the bad guys.
1- Collect information
Information is definitely a key point when it comes to fighting scammers. How did they contact you? Email? Phone? Website? Social Network? Write down everything they effectively used: email addresses, phone numbers, website URL, profile name and ID. Take screenshots of everything you can because, they will likely change their (fake) identities soon. Make a difference between the way they contact you and the way the claim you can join us… because no claim from them should be trusted.
2- Keep contact
As long as you have answers, you have a chance to at least get more information… and maybe make the situation better. So try not to be too much on the offensive: you know you want your money back but forget about threats and insults. I know how hard it is but we don’t want them to run away. Be careful: if they propose any solutions involving sending more money or bank account details, DO NOT ACCEPT IT, it’s just another scam.
3- Get more information
An email, a phone number, or a URL can say many things about your scammer. Google them. You will probably get other scams from the same fraudsters, testimonies about from other victims and tips to get your money back. This time again, refuse any proposal from people who appear to be helping and who finally ask for money or bank details : many of those are from scammers, too.
4- Complain, report… make noise!
Report a scam on the Internet will provide you with many benefits. Scammers don’t like to be reported : some of them (but not many…) will get back to you to fix your problem or refund you. By complaining, you will also help other Internet users and authorities to be aware about them, hence to fight them.
5- You are maybe insured against your issue!
If you’ve paid by Paypal, you should be protected by the Purchase Protection Program (see conditions here). Some purchase platforms such as Ebay or Aliexpress will provide you with an insurance, too: look closely at their process and conditions. Credit cards sometimes give such protection: Amex is known to be a great card when it comes to insurance (here are American Express’ conditions). In any case, check with your bank what your options are.
6- Keep checking your bank accounts
Fraudsters have several ways to take your money some time after the scam. They can subscribe recurring payments to you, rob you confidential information to make credit card payments or wire transfers in your name. So, check your accounts often and pay attentions to details. Get in touch with your bank if you have any doubt about your transactions history.
Do you have any experience to share? Some tips to add? Leave a comment!