On the big screen, a good con artist can be a lot of fun to watch. But when a scam lands at your door in real life, it’s an entirely different story. Apart from the obvious financial toll fraud can take, it also takes an emotional toll. It can make you question your intelligence. It can impact your relationships. You might even avoid telling others about your experience out of a sense of shame or embarrassment.
Taking action in the wake of a scam can help you get back on your feet and regain your confidence. If you’re recovering from an encounter with a fraudster, consider the following.
What are the most common types of financial fraud?
In the past, financial fraud meant being scammed out of money. However, in the modern era, your personal information is as valuable as cash in hand. As a result of digital payment processing, social media platforms, and other technologies that collect your personal data, cyber fraud crimes have become much more prevalent. The top three reported categories of fraud, according to the FTC’s 2018 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book are:
- Imposter scams
- Debt collection scams
- Identity theft
What should you do if you’re the victim of a scam?
Report the incident
If you’ve been the victim of a scam, it’s critical to report the incident. Start by notifying the police. If you intend to file an insurance claim on stolen property, this is absolutely necessary. If a credit or debit card has been compromised, notify the information to the card issuers. You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and with your state consumer protection office to alert them to fraudulent activity or companies.
Review your credit reports
Fraudulent activity can continue even after you report it if the scammer has your personal and financial information. Request a copy of your credit report and review it for accuracy. Notify the agency of any discrepancies so that an investigation can be undertaken. If, after thirty days, the agency cannot prove that the false information belongs to you, they must remove it from your report.
Request a fraud alert on your credit report
You should also request that a fraud alert statement be placed in your credit report. This lets creditors and lenders know that your credit report may be compromised, which can protect you from a fraudster opening a new line of credit in your name.
If you have identified the scammer, you may choose to pursue a civil suit for restitution. Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lohman, and we’ll discuss how to proceed.