I've Been Scammed
Suffering from emotional or mental health issues?
It is important to address mental issues head on. Never be embarassed or ashamed.
Shorthand, no. Jim is not a personal "vigilante", nor is he a vigilante at all, despite how he is portrayed. Jim specializes in a specific type of scam and does not engage in user submitted investigations as he is a very busy person. We recommend that any information you would like to share, you do so on www.scammer.info
Getting scammed is tough, it can be embarassing and hard to admit to. But the first step is accepting that it has been done, and you are the victim. Only once you accept this can you get started on fighting back.
More often than not, you will be left feeling powerless and your legal options limited. Depending on how you communicated with the scammers and how you paid them, below is a directory of possible measures you can take to report the scammers, possibly seek a refund and even fight back in your own way.
Assess The Damage
You need to stop and think about what has been taken. Based on that, assess the risk to yourself and take immediate action to mitigate that risk.
Ultimately most scammers are after money, but when the opportunity arises they may take pieces of information in order to steal your identity. While rare, it is important that you take this into consideration when reviewing the incident. There are many official resources online including government sites. If you believe that your identity is at risk, seek assistance from your local police or government department. You can find more information below.
If you allowed a scammer to access your computer, it is imperative that you start changing your passwords. If you typed or have saved passwords on your device, they may have retained a copy. Be sure to uninstall any software that they may have installed by identifying and removing software you don't recognize.
If you paid the scammers, getting money back is going to be quite a challenge. Based on how you paid, there are different methods to trying to get your money back (See below).
Gather & Report
It is important to gather as much information as you can so that you can report it to the police. Email addresses, phone numbers, names, fake documents, mailing tracking numbers, banking and routing information, digital wallet addresses and even software details like TeamViewer or AnyDesk ID's of the person connecting are all potentially very useful to helping find and shut down operations
With all the relevant information gathered, it is important to report this information to the correct authority;
Getting Money Back
There will rarely be a reason in anyone's life to purchase hundreds and thousands of dollars in gift cards, except during a scam.
The scammer will direct the victim to various stores like Walmart, Target, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens and other big international chains - even being as nice as to lookup stores in the victim's area. They will instruct the victim to purchase high amounts of specific cards like iTunes, Google Play, and certain stores like Amazon, Target, Walmart and BestBuy.
They further advise the victim that they must not tell anyone why they are buying these cards or who they are on the phone with. If anyone asks questions, the victim is supposed to say they are for personal use. The scammer claims that if the victim says anything to someone that they will be charged a large additional fee for the cards due to commercial use (or some other nonsense!) along with various other threats such as contacting officials, emptying bank accounts or locking personal devices such as computers or phones.
Report the scam to the gift card issuer immediately. They may be able to lock the card or assist in refunding it back to you. More often than not you will need to contact the place of purchase as well, they also may be able to refund you. In most cases, neither the issuer or the seller of the cards will refund you. Finally, if you paid with credit card, contact your credit card provider to see if they can provide any assistance such as blocking the transaction.
|Issuer or Retailer||Contact / Report Page|
|Amazon||AU Info • UK Info • US Info • Global Contact Page|
|Apple||AU Info • UK Info • US Info • Global Contact Page|
|eBay||Get More Info|
|Google Play||Get More Info • Contact Google|
|Steam||Get More Info|
|Target USA||Get More Info|
|Walmart||USA Info Page • USA Contact Page • Canada Info Page • Canada Contact Page|
Bank Transfer:Contact your bank immediately. Advise them of the scam, if it isn't too late they may be able to suspend or cancel the transaction. If it is, they may be able to contact the recieving bank via their disputes department.
Cash via Mail:
Victims are directed to obtain cash, including some additional money to pay the high shipping fees to come. They are then provided instructions on how to hide the money in things like pages of books or magazines, a box, wrapped in foil, and other methods meant to conceal money being shipped.
Finally, they are then told they must ship it overnight through FedEx or UPS and must provide a tracking number immediately after sending the money. The address and name given for the package will change based on which day they send it. Delaying sending it may mean the victim is provided a different destination. Once the package is received at the address, a money mule will pick up the package and forward the money to the scammer.
Contact the courier or freight company that you used to send the cash. They will need the tracking number and if you have one, a police report number. Using the post for crimes is a federal offence in most countries, reporting early is important!
Bitcoin and other Digital Currencies:
With the rise in popularity and potential in cryptocurrency, many scammers are on the lookout to receive this payment method. If the victim doesn't already have any cryptocurrency, they will be instructed to attend their bank to withdraw cash. They will then guide them to their nearest Bitcoin ATM, which are frequently located at gas stations.
Once there, the victim will need to create an account and will be provided information from the scammer. They will insert their money and send it off via cryptocurrency, which isn't easily traced and can't be retrieved. The scammer might tell the victim they still owe money due to the fees deducting so much from the total received value or otherwise require the victim to pay said fees up front.
It is important to note that Bitcoin (and other cryptographical currencies) are decentralized and deregulated digital currency. Because of how it works, there is no way to obtain a refund. All transactions are final.
Sometimes the amounts will be large enough that scammers will use multiple methods to get their money. Once they know they have a victim ready to be deceived, they will spend as much time as they need to make sure the money is sent. Often giving praise when the victim does something they are told and switching to abuse when they aren't listening or are acting like they may not comply with the demands.