Studies show that a high percentage of scams go unreported because victims are too embarrassed. He or she feels “stupid.” In reality, anyone can be a victim of a scam, regardless of social status, background or education. Anyone can be lonely or get caught in a week moment. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, do yourself and future victims a favor and report it. You’ll be glad you did. Instead of being quiet about it, talk to others about it. You’ll probably find out that they know others or that they themselves have been victims previously.
Swallow your pride. Know that you are not alone. With so many scams going unreported, you’re making it easy for the bad guys. They get away with it. They win. However, if you do report it, even though the chances of recovering your money are slim, there’s also a chance your report can lead to the prosecution and imprisonment of a scammer. At a minimum it will help somebody else.
Who do I report to?
You can file a local police report. They may not be able to help, but you’ll have documented proof that you were scammed. You may be able to get a tax credit for the money you lost, but you’d need the police report as proof.
Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). www.ftc.gov
Report the scam to the Internet Crimes Enforcement Network. www.ic3.gov (The FBI monitors this site, and there have been instances where after criminals are prosecuted and funds recovered, the victims who reported on this site were given money back.)
If you sent anything via mail, report the scam to the US Postal Inspectors. 877-876-2455.
Contact any place you sent money electronically or a wire from, (Western Union, MoneyGram, XOOM, PayPal, Walmart, etc.) and ask them to do a recall. It’s a long shot, but let them know the money you sent ended up being for fraudulent purposes and that you were scammed.
Notify any Banks or Credit Unions involved and report the account numbers involved.