If you've lost money to a scam or given out your personal details to a scammer, you're unlikely to get your money back. However, there are steps you can take straight away to limit the damage and protect yourself from further loss.
Contact your bank or credit union
If you've sent money or personal banking information to a scammer, contact your bank or credit union immediately. They may be able to stop a money transfer or cheque, or close your account if the scammer has your account details. Your credit card provider may be able to perform a 'charge back' (reverse the transaction) if your credit card was billed fraudulently.
Recover your stolen identity
If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, it is important that you act quickly to reduce your risk of financial loss or other damages. Contact IDCARE - a free, government-funded service that provides support to victims of identity crime. IDCARE can help you to develop a response plan to take the appropriate steps for repairing damage to your reputation, credit history and identity. Visit the IDCARE website at www.idcare.org or call 1300 432 273.
Apply for a Commonwealth Victims Certificate- a certificate helps support your claim that you've been the victim of identity crime and can be used to help re-establish your credentials with governemtn or financial institutions. Visit th Attorney-Generals Department at www.ag.gov.au (or call 02 6141 6666) to learn more about protecting and recovering your identity.
Contact a counselling or support service
If you or someone you know has been scammed and may be suffering from emotional stress or depression, please talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust. You may also consider contacting counselling or support services, such as:
Lifeline- when you need support in a crisis, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24/7) or visit www.lifeline.org.au.
Beyondblue- for information about depression or anxiety, contact beyond blue on 1300 224 636 or visit www.beyondblue.org.au.
Kids helpline- telephone and online counselling and support service for young people aged between 5 and 25 years. Contact kids helpline on 1800 551 800 or visit www.kidshelpline.com.au.
Financial Counselling Australia- if you are in financial distress call 1800 007 007 to talk to a free financial counsellor or visit www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au.