If you are a victim and you don’t report a scam, you have absolutely zero chance of getting any kind of justice. Yes, the fact that you report a scam will not guarantee the scammer will be caught, but it can help.
The stories from work-at-home scam victims are just heartbreaking. All that time and money goes into some dishonest person's pocket plus you have all the trouble of trying to get justice or just your money back.
But if you do suspect you've been scammed, what should you do? Here are some tips on how to report a scam:
First, try to stop payment. If you've paid using a bank or credit card, contact your credit card company or bank immediately. Reporting the scam may or may not help with the money that you’ve already been charged, but this can stop future payments.
One typical work at home scam is when bogus companies will offer a service for a nominal fee, like $1.99, just to show you're serious. But then the fee jumps to a monthly cost that could be hundreds of dollars. You may be able to get future payments canceled, but getting your money back can be tough.
This is why you should carefully research any opportunity that requires you to pay any amount of money.
There are rules and agencies in place to protect consumers. For instance, the Federal Trade Commission has a Business Opportunity Rule that lays out the type of disclosure buyers of business opportunities must receive from the seller.
Here are some more resources to help you report a scam:
- List of State Attorney General Offices - Report the scam to your state's attorney general and the attorney general in the state the scammer is based, if you know where that is.
- Whois - Use this to find out where and to whom a domain is registered.
- Better Business Bureau - Check any opportunity through the Better Business Bureau first. This is not foolproof, but it can give you a heads up if something is fishy. And if you do have a problem, report the scam to the BBB.
- File a Complaint With the Federal Trade Commission - Click on this link and answer the questions to file a complaint and report a scam to the FTC.
- www.econsumer.gov - This is a portal to other countries' agencies similar to the FTC.
Ever been scammed? Tell your story here.