5 Steps To Take If You Have Been Scammed
As technology progresses, so do the unethical means that surround it, which include being scammed. Scams online are more prevalent than ever nowadays. This can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, trusting an opportunity that sounded too good to no avail. This results in you entering your personal information, such as bank account details, email, or passwords.
Scams present themselves in multiple ways. It can be either online or remote. The most common scams include credit card theft, identity theft, phishing, remote access scam, and online dating scam.
Additionally, there are common patterns that you can recognize to identify these scams. Scammers often carry out their operations through unauthorized phone calls, or by disguising themselves as fake reliable website. Moreover, they may even send unsolicited emails and text messages that ask you to verify your personal information.
No authentic institution, organization, or company would ask you to confirm your personal information over the phone. The reason for this is that it may pose a security risk.
What to Do If You Have Been Scammed
If you act fast enough after becoming a victim of a scam, you may be able to correct the issue. Of course, it depends on the type of fraud you are involved in. However, there are some general solutions you should follow regardless.
Change Your Passwords
This is critical because hackers are looking for any point of entry into a bigger network. By having a weak password, you could provide them access to your personal information.
Make sure your passwords on accounts or devices that contain sensitive information are strong, unique, and difficult to guess. It’s not enough to add your birthday to your mother’s maiden name.
Moreover, pay close attention to your email account, and change the password. If the scammer has access to your email, they may still be able to reset your online banking password.
Additionally, there are steps you can take if you suspect you have been the victim of a phishing scam. Get into your bank or financial institution’s online account as soon as possible and change your passwords. This will prevent scammers from gaining access and, if they haven’t already, making withdrawals.
Alter your Computer’s Security
If you are a victim of a remote access scam, the first thing you should do is disconnect from the internet. If your computer isn’t linked to the internet, scammers won’t be able to access it.
The first step you should take is to reverse everything that they have told you. Uninstall the remote access application you were instructed to install. Quit the browser if you were directed to utilize a web-based remote access tool.
Furthermore, ensure to change the password on your PC as well. The reason for this is that the scammer may have altered your password to gain access to your computer. Through this, they could hold it for ransom.
If you are not familiar with computer security, seek assistance. Explain what happened, and have a professional go over your machine for faults and vulnerabilities.
Strengthen your Log-In process
After securing your passwords, make sure your log-ins are equally as secure. That is, making it increasingly difficult for third-party strangers to log into your accounts.
Thus, it is important to employ the two-factor authentication feature. This extra step helps to check you are the rightful owner of the account you are trying to access.
If you are unaware of how two-factor authentication functions, it does so in the following way.
A unique, time-sensitive code is texted or emailed to your mobile device. Through it, you must enter to complete the log-in procedure.
Freeze Your Financial Accounts
If the scammers had the opportunity to compromise your financial accounts, you must act quickly and accordingly. You should activate credit monitoring by putting a freeze on your accounts, and/or setting up a fraud alert.
A credit freeze effectively stops any credit checks from being done. Before running credit, a business must contact you and verify your identification, according to the advisory. Hence, scammers won’t be able to take out loans in your name if you do both.
Contact Relevant Authorities
If you believe that scammers have gotten ahold of your bank information there are a few things you should do right away. Consider contacting your financial institution. They will assist with claim processing and keep an eye out for suspicious spending patterns.
Additionally, most countries have government departments that specifically specialize in identity and information theft. By notifying them, you can resolve some major issues, and they can even help recover your information.
Moreover, reach out to friends and family who you can trust. Let them know about the situation, and be skeptical of anything. By doing so, they can be on the lookout for phishing emails or strange interactions.