My Financial Stability was Impacted
Losing money to a scam can lead to other issues, such as struggling to pay your rent or other bills. If your financial stability has been put at risk, we’ve outlined some actions you can take.
STEP #1: Take Immediate Action (Prevent Further Impact)
The following are critical, must-do steps that should be taken in the following order:
- Assess your situation.
- Are you struggling to pay your bills?
- Are you getting turned down for credit?
- Do you need assistance with food and/or shelter?
- Get help from a trustworthy organization in your community.
- Call 2-1-1 or visit 211.org to find vetted resources in your community that can provide help (financial assistance, food pantries, job programs, rental and utility assistance, etc.).
- Canadian residents can call 2-1-1 or visit 211.ca
- If you are in the military: The Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force offer various emergency relief funds at the links below. The American Red Cross Hero Care Center also provides 24x7 services to request assistance.
- Army Emergency Relief
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
- Air Force Aid Society
- The American Red Cross Hero Care Center
- Vet programs via BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance at Give.org, which provides reports and information on charities.
STEP #2: Warn Others (Report a Scam)
Good job on taking the first steps to control the situation. We recommend taking a few moments to report the scam, which can help us fight fraud. Please consider reporting the incident you encountered to BBB Scam Tracker, our prevention and reporting platform. Reporting the scam to the proper channels can help law enforcement shut down scam operations that prey on others. BBB shares all scam reports with the FTC, and we publish key information from the reports, enabling the public to determine if they are being targeted. Learn more about BBB Scam Tracker.
STEP #3: Take Important Next Steps to Recover
Thank you for reporting the scam! If your financial situation is still not stable, we recommend the following steps:
- Talk to a non-judgmental and supportive person such as a friend, family member, clergy, mental health counselor, or support hotline. Sometimes, recovery is simply being heard and understood. Our one-pager provides suggestions on how to choose the right person to speak with.
- Speak with your creditors to negotiate a payment plan, if necessary.
STEP #4: Avoid Future Scams (Learn How)
Research indicates that knowledge about scams and scam tactics can help people spot and avoid scams that will inevitably target them. The unfortunate truth is that scammers will always try to steal data, money, and important information from people, and that even when scammers are caught, others will replace them. The best defense, then, is to understand what a scam looks like and how to respond. Protect yourself and your loved ones by learning more about scam types and tactics by visiting BBB’s Scam Prevention Guide.
Beware of scammers who promise to get your money back! Recovery scammers will often contact you after you’ve already lost money and make promises to retrieve your funds, but only if you pay an up-front fee first. Learn more about these scams.
Recovering from having your financial stability impacted can be a longer journey than just receiving emergency assistance. The following resources can provide additional guidance:
- 2-1-1 Canada; or simply dial 2-1-1