If you’ve been the victim of a consumer fraud scam or get rich quick scheme, it can sometimes be hard to know what to do next. If you don’t take immediate action, however, you could leave yourself open to additional exploitation and damages. Learn more about what to do if you’ve been scammed below.
Steps To Take If You’ve Been Scammed
If you have been the victim of a consumer fraud scheme, there are some steps you should take and what to do if you’ve been scammed to ensure the situation is managed as best as possible.
Contact Your Banking & Credit Card Companies
If you believe your credit card information or account login information has been compromised, contact your bank and/or your credit card company as soon as possible. You will want to immediately cancel the compromised card and request a replacement.
When contacting your bank or credit card, ask for a report of all recent transactions to check if there has been any other unauthorized activity. If you find unauthorized transactions, you can work with your bank or credit card representative to flag them as fraudulent and possibly halt or recover those transactions.
Send A Report To The FTC
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the government agency responsible for processing and responding to scam reports. If you have been the victim of a scam, go to the FTC Complaint Assistant to file a report online. You can also file a report over the phone by calling the FTC at 877.382.4357.
File A Police Report
Contact your local police department to see what the local procedure is for filing a scam report. Be sure to provide the police with as much information as possible, and answer all their questions to the best of your ability. Once you’re done filing your report, be sure to get a copy of it from the police department for your own records.
This is not only handy for keeping track of your case, but can also be strong supporting documentation needed for future insurance or credit actions.
Freeze & Monitor Your Credit
If a fraudster has compromised your bank account, credit card or identity, they can quickly ruin your credit score. To limit the harm they can do, you should immediately freeze your credit. This prevents fraudsters from opening new accounts or credit in your name and viewing your credit report. While you will be provided a PIN that can be used to unfreeze your credit, one drawback is that while your credit is frozen, neither you or any legitimate creditors will be able to view your credit report or open new accounts or lines of credit either.
It’s important to keep a close eye on your credit before and after freezing your credit so you can quickly catch any fraudulent activity. Regularly monitor your credit report, and be on the lookout for any activity that you don’t recognize, as well as any sudden drops in your credit score.
Don’t Believe “Recovery Offer” Calls
If you have fallen victim to an online scam or had your identity or credit compromised, there is a good chance that your information is on a scammer’s list. Scammers regularly collect personally-identifiable information such as addresses, phone numbers, emails and other information, such as scams you have fallen for in the past.
Scammers may also choose to sell these lists to other scammers or third-parties, putting you further at risk. Being the victim of a scam can also put you at risk for follow-up scams that seek to further exploit you. Typically, someone will promise you that they can recover the money you were scammed out if you pay them a fee or donation up front.
Although there are federal, state and local government agencies and consumer protection organizations that are responsible for helping people who have been scammed, they will not ever charge you a fee or require that you make a payment. While these agencies or organizations can sometimes be effective, many individuals receive little help in pursuing recovery for damage due to personal consumer fraud. If you are a victim of consumer fraud and are considering pursuing litigation, an experienced litigation attorney can help you seek justice.
Schedule A Free Consultation With The Consumer Fraud Attorneys
Consumer fraud litigation is a tricky, often complicated, process. Although consumers are protected by a number of consumer protection laws, as mentioned above, there are still many opportunities for people to be taken advantage of by unethical professionals and corporations, meaning that working with a professional is not only a good choice, but often the best choice.
If you live in New Mexico and suspect you may have been a victim of consumer fraud, consider working with the experienced consumer fraud attorneys at Parnall & Adams. Our legal team can assist you in determining if you are a victim of bad business practices and help hold individuals, businesses, and financial and insurance institutions accountable for their actions.
Give us a call today at 505.886.4446 or request a consultation online to learn more about our comprehensive consumer fraud representation services and what to do if you’ve been scammed. Our experienced consumer fraud attorneys are ready to help you get the justice and financial compensation you deserve!