3 immediate steps to take if you fell for a scam

You went online and opened an email that you thought was from your bank, or you might have got a call from the IRS asking for payment before filing a charge. You panicked and sent them money and then came to know that you are a victim of scammers. Now you might be worried, embarrassed and not thinking about what to do next.

There are scams everywhere these days. They are online in our emails, and running on thousands of phones every day. With so many scammers targeting potential victims, there is a high chance that you might someday be duped. Tap or click here to see five viral scams that could cost you dearly.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have fallen victim to a scammer, there are a few steps you will want to take immediately. Let’s see what you can do to minimize the damage.

1. Block the scammer at the point of attack
If you’ve opened a suspicious email, answered a spammy robocall, or think you’ve been the target of a scam, close all contact. Write down any information you have about potential scammers and block their email address or phone number.

If you haven’t sent money yet, great! If you sent money, don’t send any more – even if they threaten you with jail or lawsuits, it’s a ploy!

2. Get access instantly through proper channels
You need to start contacting people based on the plan and how you paid. The FTC gives excellent details of who and how to contact.

You paid by debit/credit card: Contact your card issuer immediately, whether it’s a credit or debit card, and ask for the fraud department. Tell them when you made the payment and identify it as an allegation of fraud for an illegal scam. See if they will reverse the charge and refund your money.

You paid with your bank account: Call your bank immediately after detecting a fraud allegation and ask them to help you mark the transaction and refund your money.

You paid with a gift card: Contact the gift card issuer and ask to speak to the fraud department if they have one. If not, tell the customer service representative that you have been the victim of a scam and ask if they can refund your loss. Do not throw away the gift card or gift receipt.

You sent a wire transfer through a service: Western Union, MoneyGram, or contact the company you used and tell them it was fraud and part of a scam. Request that they reverse the wire transfer and refund your funds.

You sent a wire transfer through your private bank: Call your bank immediately. Report Wire as fraud and ask if they can freeze or reverse the wire transfer and refund your money.

You sent money through a cash app like Venmo: Report the fraud directly to the company and see if they can reverse the payment. If you have linked your debit/credit card with the app, you will have to report the fraud to your bank or credit card company and ask for a refund of the charges.

3. protect yourself
If you have become the victim of a criminal seeking your money or personal information, the best thing you can do is to protect yourself from impending incidents. Once you have called the appropriate agency to report a scam victim, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from further attacks.

You may feel embarrassed if you’ve been the victim of a scam, but it’s a lot more common than most people think. If you are a victim, taking these steps will give you the best chance of getting your money back and avoiding any further losses.

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