There are many different types of scams out there and it can be easy to fall for the trickery of individuals who are behind them. Many people will often feel embarrassed that they fell for these tactics and think they have no options. The reality is, if you are scammed, you do have rights. You can report the incident to various agencies depending on what kind of scam it was. Remember to keep any receipts, bank statements, communications, and contact information from the scammer. You will need this information in order to file a report with the proper authorities.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they say. Today, we want to look at some popular types of scams and what you can do if someone tries to steal your money or your identity.
There are several things you can do if you have paid money to a scammer. If you paid with a debit or credit card, you can contact the issuer and let them know it was a fraudulent transaction. They will often reverse the charge, give you your money back, close your card and issue a new one. The same process applies if the scammer made a transfer from your bank account.
Scammers have many tactics. They may try to have you use a gift card if you are unable to provide your banking or debit card information. If this is the case, you should contact the gift card issuer and explain that the card was used in a scam and ask if they can refund you the money. You will need to have the gift card as well as the original receipt.
Another way scammers may try to get your money is by having you send it to them using a money service wire transfer. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram provide these services to send money directly to friends and family and pay bills. They have policies in place to prevent scams, but this does not mean that a scam cannot happen. You can also send a wire transfer through your bank. If you have sent money through a wire transfer, you will need to contact the service you used, report the transfer as a scam and ask for a reversal.
Money transfer apps like CashApp, Zelle, Venmo, and others are very popular as an easy and efficient way to send money instantly. These apps will often ask if you know the person you are sending to or if you are paying for a service in order to avoid fraud. However, in the event of a scam, you can contact them and see if they can reverse the payment.
Personal information scams
Another way that fraudsters try to scam people is by stealing their personal information. If they have your personal information, such as your Social Security number, you may be the victim of identity theft. Recovering from identity theft is often a long and arduous process, as you may need to apply for a new Social Security number and heavily monitor your credit score. Your entire life will be turned upside down in cases like these.
Fraudsters might also try to access your personal accounts, like emails, social media profiles, and bank accounts. If you have given someone your usernames or passwords, you should immediately change your password and check all of the recent activity on those accounts.
Tax fraud scams
When your Social Security information is stolen, scammers can use it to file taxes on your behalf. You will be unable to claim your taxes for years if this is not resolved. These situations can be difficult to unravel, as your Social Security number is a key identifier for nearly all of your personal information. There are several ways these scammers will try to get your number, such as phone calls, fake websites, and even email correspondence.
Where can I report scams or fraud?
While in some cases you may be able to get your money back, this does not mean that these fraudsters will stop. You should still report them to the proper authorities, including contacting the FTC and providing information on what happened and who the scammer was. Authorities will use this to build a case against that individual, but will not follow up with you or work to recover your money,
You can also report scams to local authorities and government agencies. If you have experienced a disaster relief or emergency scam, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud. If your Social Security number was stolen, you will need to report this to the IRS and the Social Security Administration.
Should I hire an attorney if I’m the victim of fraud?
Yes, you should. A San Antonio consumer dispute attorney may be able to help if you fall victim of a scam, or if you are defrauded out of your money because of deceptive practices. In most cases, though, you only have two years to file a claim, so it’s best to speak with us quickly.
Scammers are trained to trick you into giving them what they ask for, whether it be your personal information or money. They know how to convince unsuspecting victims to give them their hard-earned money. If you have been the victim of a scam, you have rights – and you should not be made to feel as if you do not. Contact Grable Grimshaw in San Antonio today by calling 210-963-5297 or by filling out our contact form.