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Echo: What to do after being scammed online

Have you noticed unusual charges for items you never purchased showing up on your account statements? Perhaps your hard drive has become inaccessible, or maybe someone else is impersonating you on your Facebook or Instagram account? If you’ve fallen victim to an online scam, it’s crucial to act swiftly to mitigate the damage and protect your digital identity.

In my recent post101 for identifying fake emails and text messages (How to avoid online scams)I discussed precautions to take in the digital realm. However, if you’ve unfortunately been targeted, it’s vital to understand the next steps. Based on expert advice from Ivan Makatura, Director of the Competence and Certification Center for Cybersecurity, here’s what you need to know.

Slovak version: Echo: Nedali ste si na internete pozor a teraz neviete ako ďalej?


Immediate Actions:

  • Act Quickly: The first step in responding to any form of online scam is immediate action. Time is critical in preventing further damage.
  • Secure Digital Traces: Ensure you preserve any evidence related to the scam. This includes saving emails, screenshotting messages or transactions, and noting any relevant dates and times.
  • Contact Authorities: Report the incident to your local police, especially if there has been financial theft or identity fraud. This might also involve notifying other institutions, such as your bank or credit card company, to put holds on accounts that may be compromised.

Preventive Measures:

  • Update Your Security Software: Regular updates are crucial as they often include patches for security vulnerabilities that criminals exploit.
  • Use Strong Passwords: Create complex and unique passwords for different accounts. Consider using a password manager to keep track of them.
  • Stay Informed: Educate yourself about the latest phishing techniques and scam trends. Awareness is a powerful tool in cyber defense.


How to Report a Scam:

Understanding the right channels through which to report scams can expedite your recovery process. This could involve:

  • Contacting the cybersecurity unit of your local police department.
  • Reporting to national fraud and cybercrime centers.
  • Notifying any affected service providers or financial institutions.


Long-term Considerations:
If you’ve managed to stay scam-free so far, congratulations—continue to stay vigilant. Remember, the cost of prevention is always less than the cost of recovery. For those already affected, consider subscribing to a credit monitoring service to stay alert to any suspicious activities moving forward.



Živé.sk: Chytili ste sa do pasce hackerov? Šéf centra kybernetickej bezpečnosti radí, čo spraviť ako prvé (rozhovor)

Podcast: SHARE: Napadli vás hackeri? Čo robiť a čo naopak nie (rozhovor)

Image credit: DALL·E

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