The anonymity of the internet has provided various ways and means to scammers to commit internet fraud. These scammers may be termed as sophisticated and innovative ‘pickpockets’ because they take away your money, without your knowledge. They adopt various tactics such as false urgency, fear, curiosity and by giving false assurances or even by resorting to blackmailing.
The main medium of their fraudulent acts is via the internet which they misuse to steal money and personal information from you. If you ever fall victim to internet fraud, instead of keeping quiet or being embarrassed, promptly resort to remedial and preventive actions.
- Call Your Credit Card Companies or Bank
On detecting or even suspecting internet fraud, call your Credit Card Company or bank and inform them about the suspected scam. Advise them to block your account so as to avoid recurrence of the same. If you fail to do so immediately, you may become liable to them for any amount of money, not drawn or utilized by you. Ensure to call to the phone number mentioned on your card or on the latest credit or bank statement.
- File a Police Report
Since you have been virtually ‘robbed’ of your money, never hesitate to report the matter to the police. Internet fraud is a crime and has to be dealt with by the law and order authorities. Personally, go to your nearest police station, file a written statement and obtain a copy of the same and serial number of the police record. Your bank and credit company will ask you for the copy of the police report. You should not call the emergency number 9-1-1, unless you apprehend physical threat or danger, from the scammers. You may call the non-emergency number of the police department and ask for the computer-related crime division.
- Report to 3 major Credit Bureaus
After falling victim to an internet fraud, file a Fraud Victim Statement with the three major credit bureaus. Once the fraud is noted on your credit file, the scammers will be restrained from pulling your credit from your bank or credit companies. Mention at least two phone numbers so that you can be contacted immediately when someone tries to open a new account with your name.
Security Freeze of Your Credit Reports
When you become sure that the scammers have obtained all information for enabling them to get loans or credit card, you may ask the 3 major credit bureaus to put a ‘security freeze’ on your credit reports. Then, if someone wants to open an account or ask for loans, using your name, the credit reporting agencies will ask your password or PIN, which the scammer will not be a in a position to give. Thus, you will be saved from an internet fraud.
Update Your Anti-malware Software
Besides updating your software, scan your computer. The scam-related email might have infected your computer by embedding it with the malware message. The malware may be capturing information about your account and relaying the same to the scammers. Therefore, update your anti-malware software and be safer from further instances of internet fraud.