In the digital era, fraud is something that every person fears falling victim to. It’s a sound fear, considering that there were 2.8 million reports of fraud in 2021. Some had their identity stolen, others may have had a good chunk of their fortune taken away. Being a victim of fraud is something that no one ever wants to go through in their entire life.
But what if you do happen to fall victim to fraudulent activity? What if someone tries to scam you and you notice that it is an attempt at fraud? Well, there are several steps that you need to take if this is the case.
Don’t Make Any More Payments
While this may seem obvious, if something feels like a fraud, then you probably shouldn’t be paying any more money for it. Many scammers use the “large returns with time” scheme to make people send multiple payments, even if the first “investment” does not bring any money. If the broker is legitimate, they will only ask for the commission and fees, and won’t ask for more money so that your earnings can be released.
You may also be careful about recovery frauds. These frauds will target persons that were already victims of fraud, promising that they will get their money back against a certain fee. If this happens to you, be careful to not let yourself be re-victimized. These scammers will often pose as attorneys, government officials, or recovery companies.
Collect Proof and Pertinent Information
You should make sure to gather proof of fraud while the information is still fresh in your head. Put together a timeline and gather the documents that can prove you were a victim of fraud. Even if you were not scammed of your money yet, if you suspect fraudulent activity, you should write everything down for safekeeping.
You should also type down the conversation that you had with the fraudsters. Or better yet, take a couple of screenshots where you can see the time and date. Once you have identified fraudulent activity, you should also make sure to collect relevant information such as their names and position, social media profile, website, email addresses, currency exchanges, and so on.
Protect Your Account
If you already gave your payment details, you should start by closing your accounts and protecting your information. Around 44% of the people aged 22-29 lose money to fraud, causing people to risk their funds and identity. For instance, in Florida, many Orlando criminal defense lawyers say that their clients came in after they discovered suspicious activity on their credit cards – an activity that they did not condone themselves.
This is why you should contact your financial provider and place a fraud alert. This alert will trigger a process where your identity needs to be verified first. Unless proof is provided that it was you that requested the credit, the account will not work for other people. This will keep you safe from identity fraud.
Report the Fraud
Obviously, if you discover fraud, closing your account and notifying the creditor will not be enough; you also need to report it to the authorities. There’s a directory at the Department of Justice that can help you find your justice as well. Plus, federal agencies can take your complaint.
If the fraud was in your area, you can contact your district attorney or the local police department. Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to solve your case and help you get your money back.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Check your insurance (such as life insurance, homeowner insurance, etc.) to see if you have any protection against fraud or theft. Not every insurance policy has this kind of coverage, but if yours has, then you have a chance at recovering the money that you just lost.
Build Fraud Resistance
Since you’ve already fallen victim to fraud once, the last thing you probably want is to fall victim again. You don’t want to be fooled twice. You should change your online behavior to protect yourself against identity fraud, building your resistance and staying away from routine
activities. Once you’ve been a victim, you’ll be remembered and likely targeted again – which is why you need to be extra careful.
The Bottom Line
As sad as it may be, fraud is something very common in the era of advanced technology. This is why you need to always report fraudulent activity and protect yourself from future attacks.