More and more people are getting victimized by online scams. These online scammers are getting bolder and more technologically proficient in making people part with their money through fraudulent online presence promising to sell anything and everything that can answer a particular buyer’s needs. If you have fallen prey to an online scam and you want to get your money back, take a look at the steps that you can take to make it happen.
- Carefully check your bank and credit card statements to identify all your purchases. It is a good idea to keep all your purchase receipts and check them against your credit card or bank statements. If you did not receive the item as expected and after getting in touch with the seller and given deadline for a new shipment which did not happen, inform the bank or the credit card company immediately. Furnish them a copy of the statement in question.
- Gather all the documentation necessary – copy of your online transaction, date and time and all the attempts that you have made to contact the seller and demand the delivery of the item/s. This will be evidence when you decide to pursue a case against the seller. Include all the expenses that you have incurred in trying to get the purchased goods.
- Contact the payment gateway that you used to purchase the product. It can be PayPal or any other payment gateway that the online merchant utilizes. Tell them about your problem and ask them how to proceed in making a claim to get your money back. List down the instructions that you will be given and follow them to the letter. Keep documentation of all that have been said, the date and time you made the call and the name of the person you were able to talk with.
- If the seller belongs to an online auction site like eBay or Craigslist, get in touch with the auction site itself. They will be able to provide you with additional information on the seller, their location and contact information. Document all the information that you have been given and follow their instructions. As it is very hard to prove that you have been a victim of an online scam, documenting all that will transpire after you have made the discovery will give you some proof that the scam indeed occurred.
- Get in touch with the merchant by email. Avoid contacting them by phone or meeting them face to face. Emails are concrete proofs that you can use to further your case.
- Report the incident to your local authorities. They are now more vigilant about cases like these and may be able to help you. It may be a difficult process but if the merchant is a repeat offender and there is already a file with the local law enforcement agency then it will be easier to track them down.
- Check with your state attorney general’s office and inquire on how to proceed with your claim. It can take several weeks or months before you get your money back. Hire a lawyer to help you file a civil lawsuit against the company that is involved in the online scam.
Deal only with online merchants that have a proven track record for credibility and integrity. Check the business registry with the Better Business Bureau. Do some research on the company’s background first before you make your online purchase to see if the company is established and has good business standing.