Skip to main content

Recover from Scams

Scam Recovery banner

You are not alone. Millions of people are scammed each year. Scammers induce emotions and create a sense of urgency for you to react by releasing personal information or payments. Once scammed, an individual may become the target of additional scams, even some that claim to recoup funds.

Report Immediately any Jeopardized Funds or Personal Information

Once a scam has been identified following the transfer of funds, the first step is to call the financial institution/transfer company to alert of the fraud, inquire as to the status of the funds and request a hold or freeze of the funds and refund if funds have not been transmitted. 

Complete the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center Form as soon as possible and retain a copy for your records. Call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) if you need support completing the form. 

FBI: Internet Crime Complaint Center (

Scammers use manipulative tactics to coerce the immediate transfer of funds utilizing methods that will send funds quickly that cannot easily be refunded or traced.

Loss of Personal Information

Your personal identifying information in the hands of a scammer can be detrimental, even if you do not have established credit. Scammers may open credit accounts with your information, such as car loans, credit cards, and mortgages. You can take steps to secure your identity to prevent a scammer from using your information for their financial benefit.

Identity Theft

If you provided your Social Security number:

  1. File and identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission: or 1-877-438-4338.
  2. You may also file an identity theft police report with your local police or county sheriff.
  3. Protect your credit: set up a credit fraud alert and/or security freeze and check your credit reports regularly:

If you provided

  • bank account information, contact your bank as soon as possible.

  • credit card information, contact your credit card company as soon as possible.

  • your driver’s license number, contact the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): 802-828-2000.

  • your Medicare ID number, contact the Medicare fraud unit: 1-800-MEDICARE

NOTE: If your Medicare number is your Social Security number, follow the instructions above concerning identity theft reporting.

Step-by-Step Identity Theft Info

Institution Contacts and Further Reporting


Bank/Check Monetary Loss

Contact your bank right away!

Credit Card Monetary Loss

Contact your credit card company right away!

Cryptocurrency Monetary Loss

Contact your cryptocurrency exchange used to send the money right away!

And, report to:

  • The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) at
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at

Gift Card Payments Monetary Loss

If you provided numbers on the back of the card to a scammer, you should contact the gift card company immediately by locating the number on the back of the card!

Mailed Money Monetary Loss

If you mailed money orders or cash to a scammer, you should contact the US Postal Inspection Service!

  • US Postal Inspector: (877) 876-2455

  • In addition, call the Post Office, UPS, or FedEx location where the money was sent from.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P ) Payments Monetary Loss

If you sent money to a scammer, you should contact the payment company and your associated bank/credit card company immediately.
  • PayPal: report a fraudulent transfer via your app or online account, Call: 1 (888) 221-1161

  • Venmo: report a fraudulent transfer via your app or online account, Email:

  • Google Pay/Wallet: report a fraudulent transfer via your app or online account.

  • Apple Pay/Wallet: report a fraudulent transfer via your app or online account

  • Cash App & Square Cash: report a fraudulent transfer via your app or online account, Call 1 (855) 351-2274

  • Zelle: report a fraudulent transfer via your app or online account, Call 1 (844) 428-8542

Wire Transfer Monetary Loss

If you wired money, you should contact the Wire Transfer Company immediately!


In addition to the loss of personal information and funds, scams can also impact personal well-being. For those personally affected by scams, there are support services available.

Crime Victim Services

Get Help: Vermont Department of Mental Health

United Ways of Vermont's 2-1-1 information and referral hotline can connect you to counseling and support services in your area.

Additional support services: 

  • Connect to a support group, such as the Resilience, Strength and Time program (ReST).

National Crisis Lines

Area-Specific Help in Vermont

Need additional support?

Your reporting helps to educate about and prevent scams from happening to others. Consider submitting reports to our office, the Federal Trade Commission as well as an International Fraud Report.

Vermont Attorney General's Office Online Scam Form

Federal Trade Commission (

International Fraud Report (

Know About Scams

Learn more about scams from the Consumer Assistance Program website and blog.

CAP Website

CAP Connection

Vermont Consumer Complaint Help

Consumer Assistance Program: Attorney General's Office and University of Vermont: Get Help with Consumer Problems and Report Scams

1-800-649-2424 |

Consumer Assistance Program | 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001 | 1-800-649-2424 |