For the last few weeks I have been taking a look at some of the scams that you may encounter and explaining how to spot a scam. For the last post in the series I am going to outline what to do if you find yourself a victim of a scam, because it does happen and it could happen to you or someone you know.
As soon as you realize or have a feeling that you may have been scammed you will want to take some steps in order to mitigate your loss. The following are the steps outlined on Ontario.ca and are very comprehensive:
- Stop communicating with the person who you believe is defrauding or scamming you
- Secure your accounts before making any further financial decisions
- Compile any information or documentation that you have relating to the situation, including:
- Any letters, emails, or texts
- Financial documents
- Contracts and receipts
- Contact information for the scammer
- Any websites or social media accounts used in the scam
- Any paper documents, brochures, advertisements, etc.
- Place a plastic cover over any documents that may have been handled by the scammer and avoid touching them anymore yourself than is necessary
- Call any banks or other companies where you have an account that may be compromised
- Change passwords for any accounts, including social media, that you believe may have been compromised
- Keep a well documented account of your actions from when you first noticed the fraud or scam and document your steps taken after as well with dates and times
- If you communicated with the scammer using a computer or tablet you will want to be sure that all your security programs are up-to-date and that nothing was implanted on your computer that could cause more headaches. The best way to do this is to have a professional take a look.
- Contact Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada to have an alert placed on your account
For more information on scams, fraud and what to do if you have been victimized check out the links below.