It can be incredibly upsetting and frustrating if you think you've been scammed online. Whether you've been caught out by a phishing email, had your personal details stolen in a data breach, or fallen for a fake online store, it's important to know what to do next. We've put together a step-by-step guide to help you report and recover from online scams.
The first thing to do if you think you've been scammed is to take a deep breath and try not to panic. It can be easy to feel like you're in over your head, but it's important to remember that you're not alone. There are plenty of people who have been in your situation before, and there are organisations that can help you.
Once you've calmed down, the next step is to start gathering evidence. This can include things like screenshots of conversations you've had with the person you think scammed you, copies of any emails they've sent you, or links to any websites they've asked you to visit. The more evidence you have, the better.
If you've given away your bank account details or made any financial transactions with the person you think scammed you, it's important to contact your bank or financial institution as soon as possible. They may be able to help you recover your money or prevent any further fraudulent activity.
Once you've gathered all the evidence you can, it's time to report the scam. You can do this by contacting your local police station or by visiting the website of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC is the national organisation responsible for consumer protection, and they have a dedicated Scamwatch website where you can report scams and get advice on what to do next.
If you've been scammed, it's important to warn others so they don't fall for the same trick. You can do this by sharing your story on social media, or by writing a review on a website like Scamadvisor. By spreading the word, you can help protect other people from becoming victims of online scams.