Recovering your losses

Getting your money back

The sad truth about scams is that most victims do not get their money back. This is because it is often very difficult to track down the person or group that has scammed you. If you have sent money to an overseas company, Australian government agencies cannot help you get your money back as those companies are out of their jurisdiction.

But do not despair. There are some immediate steps you can take to reduce the damage.

Contact your bank

If you have sent money or information to a scammer, contact your bank immediately. They may be able to stop a money transfer or close your account if the scammer has your account details.

Report the scam

You should report the scam to stop it from spreading. By making a report to the appropriate government agency, you can help identify the scammers and warn others about the scam. You should also warn your friends and family so they do not become the next victims.

Avoid follow-up scams

If you have been caught up by a scam you may be the target of a follow-up scam. Hang up on a scammer if they try the following tricks:

  • Offering to swap your investment for another one to recover your losses
  • Telling you to 'hang in there' as your investment will increase in value soon
  • Offering to buy your shares at a premium but asking you to pay a fee to have 'restrictions' on the shares lifted
  • Asking you to pay a fee for a fake share certificate
  • Claiming they can recover your losses for a fee they say is a tax, deposit or refundable insurance bond
  • Asking you to pay for travel and accommodation costs to find the scammer who has taken your money

Even though scammers know you will never get your money back, they still want to try and get more money from you.

Visit the SCAMwatch website

The ACCC's SCAMwatch website has more detailed information on action you can take after being scammed, on their where to get help webpage.

Being scammed can have a devastating effect on your life. You may need some help to recover.

Related links

Last updated: 20 Jun 2017