What to do if you suspect fraud

We’ve all been there: you suspect you have been scammed. It is a scary, frustrating, and lonely feeling, and it can be difficult to know what to do next.

If you are in this situation, DO NOT PANIC. The sooner you take preventive action, the better you can protect yourself and others from further theft. Getting all your money back might be difficult, but recovering from fraud is much more than just regaining your losses.

In this post, we’ll cover the steps you should take after discovering you have been scammed. By following these steps and consulting with the right professionals, you can help protect yourself against further theft, report the fraud, and start the recovery process.


If you suspect fraud, it is best to act quickly. In order to determine the next steps, there are several questions you should ask yourself:

1. Do I want to recover my money or do I just want to stop future transactions?

2. Do I have a copy of the contract? Do I remember what happened in detail?

3. Am I willing to file a police report? Have I contacted the business directly and attempted to resolve the problem with them?

Collect all the relevant information and documents

When the fraud incident is still fresh in your memory, create a time and collect all the information and documents that could help in reporting and investigating the fraud. Make a log of all the conversations that happened between you and the fraudster with the date and time. Documents and information you must keep ready includes;

  • Names, titles, or designations used by the fraudster.
  • Social media profiles, chats, groups, or other online interactions.
  • Screenshots of messages and website addresses.
  • Email text and email addresses.
  • Phones numbers are used for the contact.
  • Account details, sales materials, statements, and trade confirmations.
  • Receipts and statements of the credit cards used.
  • Exchanges of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.
  • Records of other modes of payments such as receipts of wire transfers, prepaid cards, canceled checks, and money orders.
  • Any communication received, including envelopes, and letters.

Protect your accounts and identity

If the payment information is provided to the fraudster, take immediate necessary steps to block your accounts and cards.

Credit cards. If credit card information was used for the fraudulent transaction, contact the card provider to file a fraud report. Also, you can request a free security card freeze to restrict your card to make payments.

Bank account. If the bank account details were given to the fraudster then contact the bank or credit union for immediate preventive action. You may ask to close the account and open a new one.

Log-ins and password. If you reused your other account’s passwords or log-in details to access the fraudster’s website then make sure to update all your accounts with new log-in details and passwords.

Social security number. Look out for scammers that claim your social security number that is linked to back taxes and other debts.

File a police report

in most cases, the police only take the report as a courtesy and do not pursue the case. However, this step can still help to keep the proof that you reported the matter to the police.

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