So you have been scammed. Before doing anything, read these facts:
1) First and foremost, scam prevention is more important and effective than “recovery from a scam”. I know you hate this “who-doesn’t-know” statement. But sometimes what people need is a reminder esp. when they panicked. (there goes our stars for this article)
Once the money leaves your hand, you might never see your money again even after you have complaint to the whole world, including the police. Nobody can play GOD to guarantee and recover your money from Con-Artists who hide their tracks perfectly.
We are not saying that your money is gone for good, Con-Artists are hard to catch if you are unable to trace them, at all. As in CSI, the police can catch criminals if they are able to find evidence, finger prints and traces, but there are criminals that have never been caught due to lack of these. Even when there are evidence and knowledge of who-done-it, some criminals cannot be caught because they keep changing location, country or even their identity.
What do you think most Anti-Scam websites are setup to do? Can anyone really help you recover your money should you get scammed?
Anti-scam sites such as ours can only help you PREVENT against scam. If there is any guide/websites claiming that they can help you after the scam, that is fantastic because they probably know the scammer or have free money to engage private investigator on your behalf to recover your money. Does that make sense? Anti-scam requires commonsense most of the time, and the same applies here.
2) Most anti-scam or anti-fraud organisations can probably help when the scam involves a registered company or a person whom you can trace because they used real identity. An example is those stupid scammer in the car scam, who uses their real identity and scam people (see our News page)
If these organization can solve the problem, I would prefer to deal with the police directly because there is evidence of the scam. We don’t need anymore 3rd party to catch a thief.
If you cannot trace back to the scammer, nobody else can unless in very exceptional cases. Exceptional cases is, e.g. when the FBI steps in to trace email and server logs, commonly used to catch the hackers.
3) When you report to those anti-scam or anti-fraud organization, the following actions can be taken:
a) Inform the police about such scams if identity of scammer is known or can be traced easily.
b) Publish the scam on websites.
What? You expect them to catch the thief for you? Do they offer free private investigators, police or InterPol?
I have been scammed! What should I do?
It depends on what you have lost, and whom you have lost to.
1) You have lost Cash to Overseas Scammers.
This is the worst case. You can
- Call the police
- Submit reports to the organisations in our “Related Links” page.
- Submit your reports to all the official anti-scam organisations and hundreds of scam-reporting websites (including hotscams.com).
But your chances of recovering the lost money is very, very slim.
2) You have lost Cash to Local Scammers.
One way of fishing scammers is, instead of crying foul, is to pretend that you are still in the dark while contacting the police. Keep the scammers talking or in contact with you, and let them know that there is “more money” coming from you. One of the best way is to meet up with them and let the police know when and location. This may help to nab the thief on the spot.
Such a method may help against overseas scammer, but you are at the mercy of the police in their country.
If the scammers hit-and-run and you cannot trace back to the scammer (i.e. do not have their identity) because the transaction is in cash, you do not have their address, contacts, etc – your case is only slightly better than the dealing with the Overseas Scammers. Your best bet is to contact the police and try to describe the person and provide as much clue as possible.
Success depends on the alibi/evidence available, just like catching any other crooks. Why? It all boils down to how much information the scammer or criminal has left behind for anyone to trace.
And ofcourse, you can still submit reports to us and dozens of top anti-scam sites.
(3) You have lost Critical Personal Information to Scammers.
Beware of identity theft. The first thing to do is NOT to contact us or any anti-scam website.
Choose the following:
a) Spend hours writing long stories complaining to police, and anti-scam sites.
b) Use the time to contact the bank/institution to quickly block off possible access by the scammer.
It is just like losing your credit card on the street, which follow-up would you pick?
Your best defense lies in your assets where those personal information can be used to access. This includes your financial institution, banks. Call them up immediately and let them know that you have lost critical personal information to some scammers.
If you have lost your login information in a phishing site, or if your email account is hacked, you may need to quickly change the login information and official email address used for your sites, such as Paypal (which is based on email), and other membership sites which has “financial value”.
Note that in this case, you have not really lost anything yet (but about to). So it does not matter if the scammer is local of overseas. Remember that once you have lost your money, your situation is back to either para 1(overseas) or 2(local).
Last and not the least, we would like to Repeat that the first thing to do is NOT to contact us or any anti-scam website.
(This article is updated periodically)