The last thing anyone wants is to be scammed. Some phishing scams are elaborate, and there are others that only require you to click a suspicious link in a message to lose your money or identity.
Protecting yourself and helping others is easier when you act quickly. The recovery of stolen money may not be easy, but it goes beyond just recouping your losses. If you experience this, here’s what you should do.
How to Recover from an Online Scam
1. Report the scam right away
In the case of financial fraud, contact your financial institution immediately. Alert the credit bureaus if you suspect your identity has been stolen. As a result, everyone will be alert to any further fraudulent transactions.
Scammers want to take advantage of you when they steal your money, so you must secure your account as soon as possible.
If you suspect that you have been scammed or notice any suspicious activity on a dating site, here’s what you should do:
- Contact your bank or credit card provider
- FTC complaints should be considered
- Make sure the details are documented
2. Keep your finances and accounts secure
Keeping your money and information safe is the best defense against fraudsters. You can recover from a scam and prevent future scams by following these steps:
- Freeze your credit report
- Set up a fraud alert
- Make use of two-factor authentication
- Set up bank account alerts
3. Reset your passwords
When you are redirected to a spoof website, you should change your password at the real website right away if you were asked to enter your credentials.
The use of the same credentials for multiple accounts is not recommended, but many people still do it. This means that all accounts using the same credentials should have their passwords changed.
Password hints and security questions might also need to be changed. If you want to be extra cautious, you should reset company-wide passwords.
4. Analyse the incident forensically to determine its cause
During this phase, you need to scrutinize every log you have for possible signs of compromise, as well as ensure that your logs are stored for a long enough amount of time.
If any unrecognized URLs or IP addresses are listed in your firewall logs, you should investigate them. To determine which users looked up any malicious domains, check your DNS logs and your mail server logs for recipients of the phishing email.
Review the headers and attachments of the phishing email for clues about its nature and purpose, and take a copy of the email.
Lastly, check your monitoring logs for any suspicious activity associated with sensitive data and privileged accounts if you’re using a real-time auditing solution.
5. Understand how scammers operate
Having recovered from being a victim of fraud and dealing with the fallout of being scammed, become familiar with the most common types of scams.
You may be able to spot potential scams if you understand how to spot scammers and what they consider red flags. To stay vigilant, consider these tips to keep yourself safe online:
- Avoid pushy callers
- Beware of phishing emails
- Before donating, do your research
6. Keep up with the latest scams
Most people make the mistake of believing “It couldn’t happen to me.” Even highly trained professionals can fall victim to scams.
Keep up to date with the latest scams to avoid being scammed out of your money or to learn more about how to protect yourself. Scammers can’t get hold of your private information if you don’t stay informed and protect it.
You can monitor your checking account using mobile banking to spot fraudulent transactions quickly, but it’s not the only way to keep your account secure.
Cyber safety tips for the future
1. You can use a password manager or print out a password organizer to help you remember strong, secure passwords. Store the organizer in a secure place, not next to your computer. MFA should be used whenever possible.
2. Phishing attempts should be avoided. People trying to scam you often use unprofessional wording or design in their emails, texts, or messages. It is common for the sender’s email address to be unrelated to the company they pretend to represent.
3. Take regular care of your computer, such as updating all software and backing up your hard drive, in case of a scam.
4. If you have only met someone online, be very careful about sharing sensitive information and never send them money, even if they have a convincing reason for needing it.