Being a victim of a scam gives you a terrible feeling. Many questions arise in one’s mind when a fraudster takes undue advantage. What do I do now? Should I share it with someone? What is the chance of getting back the money?
The bitter truth is most scammers are aware of the loopholes in the law. It makes them ahead in this game of scam from their victim. Sometimes it becomes difficult to catch hold of these scammers as they act quickly to cover their proof of the crime.
If you get duped, it is not necessary to lose hope. You will be able to get your money back from the scammer if you adopt the quick and necessary action against them. The first step in the recovery of your money will be to know what to do next. However, you can also hire a fund recovery specialist who can help you with a step-by-step procedure to recover from a scam.
You can follow these steps, which might help you recover the money from the scammer.
Get in Touch with Your Bank Immediately
You may not be aware whether the scammer has access to your bank details. Always inform your bank about what’s going on. So, they will keep an eye on your account for any suspicious financial activity. Carry all the necessary documents to the bank related to the scam. It does not matter how much information you have. Make sure to give all the details that you know.
Get in touch with the customer care department of your credit card or bank and let them know you want to report a scam. The customer care executive will be in a position to transfer your call to the fraud management department of the bank. Never hold back yourself in answering them with follow-up questions.
Once you have given the details of the scam, make sure to be in touch with the bank. If the bank does not revert in a month, do a follow-up. If you notice that there is no positive response from the bank side. Approach Consumer Bureau – Financial Protection.
Get Help from the Legal System
Informing only your bank about the scam will not be enough. You need to report it to the law enforcement agencies also. The very first agency will be the local police and office of the state attorney general. Also, note federal government agencies are available for the investigation and prevention of fraud. There are different federal agencies involved in a specific kind of fraud that happened with you.
The list of the various agencies is available at usa.gov. If there is a money fraud that you got involved in, the first agency to contact will be the Federal Trade Commission. Treat these agencies very seriously and cooperate with them fully. Give all the correct and detailed information about the scam, and no need to get embarrassed when they ask you any questions.
Request for the case number from the office of law enforcement. It will help you to track the progress of your case.
Recovering Your Money from the Scam
There are few steps that you can also take to recover your money. Other than reporting it to the bank or the law enforcement agencies. There is no surety that these steps will get your money back as the scammer acts quickly to flee.
- Payment from Debit or Credit Card – Get in touch with the card-issuing bank. Present your case of scam to them to check whether the reversal is possible. In case you initiated payment from a credit card, submit the proof of payment scam. Request the card company for issuance of a chargeback to recover the amount from the fraudster.
- Unauthorized Transfer – If the scammer initiated any unauthorized transfer of funds from your bank account, inform that particular transaction detail to your bank. In most scenarios where fraudulent transfer or withdrawal happens, the bank follows the reversal process of funds. It is the decision by the bank, and it may differ from a case-to-case basis.
- Payment Through Wire Transfer – Call the customer care of the bank. Check if they can stop or reverse the transfer. Generally, the wire transfer happens in stages, and there is a processing time involved. If you understand about the scam and take quick action, there is the possibility of your funds getting reversed to your account.
- Initiated Payment Through Wire Transfer Company – Inform the wire transfer company about the scam. Most wire transfer companies like Moneygram and Western Union provide the customer with their fraud hotlines. They also have a separate dedicated department to protect consumers from scams. If the scammer has not yet cashed the money that you wired, there is the possibility to reverse the transaction.
- Gift Card Payment – Fraudsters often request payments through Gift cards as these transactions are not easy to trace and get reversed. Still, you can contact the gift card issuer and take his suggestion about the best possible option to cancel the transaction.
- Payment with any Fund Transfer Application – Contact and inform the company that owns the money app. Payment gateway companies like Venmo, Zelle, and Paypal have laid down procedures to deal with fraudulent activities that have taken place on their platform. Request them for the reversal of your money. It will only be possible if you contact them at the earliest once you realize about the scam.
Small Claim Court
The other option available to you as a scammed victim is to file a case against the scammer in the small claim court. The fraudulent case gets registered in the small court if the scammed amount falls under the limits of this court. The fraud amount can be different for different states. The fraudulent case of running in a small court is a better option than filing any civil lawsuit against the scammer. Lawsuits take months to get resolved, and you will end up paying a huge cost in the legal formalities.
Consumer Arbitration is an alternative if you don’t want to get involved in the complex process of the court. Any court proceeding hits your pocket hard and is time-consuming. Arbitration is more or less similar to the small claim court.
The victim and the scammer present their case to a third party not known to both of them. The third party is neutral and is known as the arbitrator. To solve the issue of both parties, Arbitration carries the advantage of low cost, time-saving and the hearing can happen remotely over the video conference or a phone call.
Don’t Fall for Offers That Look Lucrative but Don’t Seem Real
The scammers get successful in duping the customer by offering unbelievable offers that often lead to a scam. If you do not know a person, it is advisable not to trust them easily. Always ask yourself what are his benefits in giving you such lucrative offers and benefits. Always do a background check of the person you are handing over the money for some financial transaction. If you find it suspicious, cancel the transaction without thinking about anything.
Keep your family and close friends aware of the financial transaction you are doing. So, you will be able to take their valuable advice. After doing all this, if you still become the victim, take the necessary steps to recover whatever you have lost. It is always better to hire a fraud recovery specialist, as they know the procedures and can help you get back your lost money.