What to do when you’re scam Online

2 min

56 points

Victims of scams don’t always report when they’ve been conned because they feel embarrassed for having fallen for a scam.

If you have just fallen for a scam, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed. It can happen to anyone. Scammers are constantly refining their scams to make them as effective as possible. They know what works and what doesn’t.

If you’re reading this article then you are here to find out what you can do after you’ve been scammed. Here are some tips to help you try and recover after you’ve become the victim of an online scam:

Call Your Credit Card Company or Bank Immediately After You Realize That You’ve Been Scammed

If you’ve given out your credit card number or bank information to a suspected scammer then you need to tell your financial institution as soon as possible so they can put a hold on your account to prevent further charges against it. Always call them on the number on the back of your card or on your most recent statement. Never call a number in an email as it might be part of a phishing scam.

File a Police Report

Calling the police after you’ve been scammed might sound silly but it’s not. You were just robbed, weren’t you? When you’re robbed on the street you contact the police, right? It shouldn’t matter how you were robbed. The fact that the criminal used the Internet to steal your money doesn’t make it any less of a crime.

You’ll need to file a police report as soon as possible after you’ve been scammed, especially if money was actually stolen from your account. Your bank and/or credit card company will likely want a copy of the police report as will the major credit agencies.

You probably shouldn’t call 9-1-1 for this type of issue, unless the scammer is threatening your life and you are in physical danger. When filing an Internet scam / fraud-related report, you may want to call the non-emergency number for your local police department and ask for the fraud or computer-related crimes division.

Format Your Computer

Yes, you heard me right, format your computer, I repeat format your computer if you get scammed from a phishing site. Most common way hackers get hold of your information is by remotely installing malware on your computer, and if you did not format, the malware will still be ruling in your system which will give the license to hack you again, even if you change your password because they will have access to it.


At econsumer.gov, you can report international scams and learn about other steps you can take to combat fraud.  Your complaints help consumer protection agencies around the world spot trends and work together to prevent international scams.

Today, consumer protection agencies in 36 countries participate in econsumer.gov. To respond to the challenges of internet fraud and improve consumer confidence, econsumer.gov began in April of 2001 to gather and share cross-border e-commerce complaints.

The project has two components:

A public website that allows consumers to make cross-border fraud complaints. It’s currently available in English, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Spanish, and Turkish.
A secure econsumer.gov website that allows law enforcement around the world to share and access consumer complaint data and other investigative information.  The secure website is hosted through the Consumer Sentinel Network platform by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

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