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What should you do if you are the victim of an online scam?



Have you fallen victim to an online scam and don’t know what to do next? Do not panic; There are some things you can do to minimize potential damage and avoid legal or financial problems. Depending on whether it is a scam by e-mail, a phone scam, a fake website or something else, your answer will be different. What should you do if you are the victim of an online scam? What steps can you take to safeguard your identity and finances? How can you prevent others from falling victim to such fraud?

What should you do if you are the victim of an online scam?

Block the crook

The first step to reversing your mistake is to block the scammer who deceived you. By doing so, you will prevent scammers from contacting you again or trying to carry out another similar scam. If you have been scammed with an email phishing scam, block the sender’s email immediately. If the scammer contacted you via text message or phone call, add their number to your blacklist.

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In certain scams, the fraudsters do not contact you directly. Instead, they place traps on unsafe websites to trick victims. If you have been the victim of a scam of this type, block that page on your browser or device.

Refund payments made

When you were the victim of a scam, did you pay the fraudsters? If so, do your best to refund the payment. There are three reasons why you should go the extra mile to get a refund: you will get your money back, fraudsters will not be encouraged to continue their scams, and criminals will not use your funds to prey on other innocent people.

If you paid the scammers with your bank account or credit card, contact the relevant support department and ask for a refund. If you were tricked into sending a gift card, contact the supplier and find out if they can help. Likewise, if you have made a bank transfer to the fraudsters, do everything in your power to cancel it.

Temporarily freeze your bank account and credit card

You should also ask the relevant department to temporarily freeze your funds when requesting a refund from your credit card or bank account, especially if you revealed critical details during the payment process. This way, fraudsters will not be able to misuse your information or funds.

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If you can’t freeze your funds, at least monitor them for a few weeks and keep an eye out for suspicious transactions. If you want to better monitor suspicious transactions, you can also subscribe to a credit monitoring service.

Scan your device for malware and suspicious links

Have you downloaded an attachment or software attached to an email, clicked a phishing link in a text message or a pop-up on a suspicious website? If so, make sure your browser or device has not been infected. It should scan your device for malware and remove any threats.

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If you have inadvertently given scammers access to your device, make sure they are not already connected to your device. You can quickly scan for suspicious links on Windows devices or spot scammers spying on your Mac. So make sure no one is following your activities.

Prevent misuse of your personal information

Generally, there are two types of information that can be disclosed when you are the victim of a scam: personal information that cannot be easily changed, such as your name, social security number or address, and less personal but critical information, such as details credit cards, saved passwords or login credentials.

Don’t worry about modifying information that is difficult to change. However, if you’ve exposed critical information that you can easily change, like your account password, change it immediately so that scammers can’t exploit it again. Likewise, if you exposed your credit card details, request a new card from your company.

But how do you prevent your personal information from being misused – the private data that you cannot change?

Report the scam to the authorities

Report identity theft involving your critical personal information to the appropriate authorities. This way, the competent authorities will be aware of this information leak and, in the event that fraudsters misuse your data in the future, you will be safe from any legal repercussions and financial penalties.

victim of an online scam

Likewise, if you have exposed data that you believe belong to the company you work for, the creditor from whom you took out a loan, or similar, be sure to notify the company in question. This way, they will be able to take action against the fraudsters and such an escape will not affect you in any way.

When reporting the scam, be sure to provide authorities with as much information as possible to help them find and arrest the perpetrators.

Spread the word about the scam

After blocking scammers, requesting refunds, freezing your credit cards, scanning devices for malware, preventing misuse of information, and reporting the scam to the appropriate authorities, another responsibility you must fulfill is to disclose this scam. to your family and friends to prevent them from becoming victims.

In the meantime, if possible, record and upload a short video to YouTube, create a Reddit thread explaining the scam, or write a blog post about it. This way, anyone looking for the scam will know it exists before becoming a victim. In short, this will prevent the wider community from falling victim to this scheme.

Now you know what to do if you are the victim of an online scam.

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