The recent report from the FTC indicates that over $8 billion is lost to various scams annually. Over 45% of all scam activities occur on Facebook and other social media platforms where users are often misinformed about cryptocurrencies, financial machinations, and investments in general. The current situation in the world of crypto and adjacent industries is alarming.
Avoiding such scams is close to impossible if you do not have any prior exposure to buying and selling crypto. Even in scenarios where victims understand the complex mechanics behind blockchain-based platforms people are still falling for scams.
Thankfully, losing money to fraudsters is not the end of the world and you can recover financially. Smart and collected individuals even manage to get their money back without much effort.
Immediate steps to take
First and foremost, you should call your bank and cancel any previous operations. If your personal information and credentials were compromised, ask the bank to close your credit and debit cards immediately.
What many people do not know is that many operations, especially those involving cards, are reversible. VISA and MasterCard are payment systems that usually make final settlements at the end of the quarter meaning that you often have about 20 — 40 days to cancel any operation.
Most systems don’t even ask why you want to cancel which is the reason some companies lose money with loyal return policies. On the other hand, this system allows for instant purchases and quick money transfers between individuals. The ability to cancel recent payments is also great when considering the current atmosphere of scams.
Provide information about scammers to banks and law enforcement
A single person can be manipulated and lied to, but collectively our society can counteract any fraudulent activities. It is a wise and morally good decision to take your case to law enforcement even if you manage to get your money back without involving any officials.
Some banks may require you to explain the reason why you want to cancel payments made within the last month. Providing detailed information about the scam is quite important in such scenarios.
Certain pieces of information are quite valuable to both the police and your bank:
- The description of the scam and the pattern that you fell for. You should describe how a scammer approached you, what they told you, and how you were led to transfer the money.
- Any bits of personal information of the scammer. Which social media accounts were used, e-mail addresses and messenger accounts were you interacting with?
- Credit card information, and payment methods, used and suggested by scammers to get your money should also be provided to law enforcement and the bank.
Don’t forget to follow up on your requests
Some people give up easily after not receiving their money back or not hearing from the police. It is important to remind these organizations about your case as frequently as possible without it looking like harassment. Just call once in a couple of days to ensure that your issue is being worked on.
Depending on the rules of your card issuer, you may have up to 30 business days to cancel any payments. Law enforcement often stops difficult investigations after a short while. Poking the police and bank is a good idea to keep them going.
Working with specialized agencies
Since so many people fall victim to scammers, the demand for money recovery services is high and many companies are offering such products. Their methods may vary from standard procedures to grayish tricks used against scammers, but you have relatively high chances of either getting your money back or receiving a detailed consultation about what to do next.
Many ways to recover money and punish scammers can be employed by victims, but you must act as quickly as possible. Start the recovery process as soon as you can after realizing that you were scammed by criminals.