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Recovering from a scam, fraud, or financial exploitation is a unique journey for each victim. Here are some resources to help.
Being a victim of a scam or fraud is not your fault. Con artists are good at persuasion and scamming; that is why they do it. Anyone can be scammed. The biggest barrier to stopping scammers is people are afraid, embarrassed, or stigmatized to say anything about it. So, acknowledge that it happened and seek help from a trusted professional, friend, or family member to overcome the damage.
Write down what you lost whether it is money, property, or your personal identifying information. Inventory your personal items, check your financial statements, and review your credit reports.
If you have unauthorized charges on your credit card, contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. If there are fraudulent withdrawals from your bank or credit union, report it to them. Sample letters and more resources can be found at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ask your credit card company and bank if they can put a fraud alert on your accounts. Put a fraud alert on your credit files. Change your online user names and passwords. Change your personal identification number (PIN) on your debit cards and other accounts.
If your identity was stolen, use the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Recovery Plan to rebuild the protective wall around your personal identity and financial resources. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, the National Network to End Domestic Violence has a great Financial Abuse Toolkit to help you disconnect your financial world from the perpetrator.
Many nonprofit service providers offer free or low-cost financial coaching and credit counseling. They can help you assess the damage, navigate disputes and fraud blocks, follow the FTC recovery plan, rebuild your financial stability, and access helpful resources. Call 211 or go online for a list of financial coaches or credit counselors near you.
If you need to engage in legal recourse, the Oregon State Bar can help you find an attorney.
Learn more: Receive regular consumer alerts from the
Oregon Department of Justice and the
Federal Trade Commission.
Learn about warning signs and useful steps to take to help prevent scams, fraud, and financial exploitation.
Reporting helps stop the crimes, and sometimes can help the victim recover losses. Everyone can help report and mandatory reporters can report here.
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