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Steps to Recovering from a Con, Scam, or Fraud Scheme

Recovering from a con, scam or fraud scheme may be a long and difficult process. Here are some ways to get your financial life back on track:


Step 1: Keep track of your credit report

Once you have put a fraud alert on your credit report, you are entitled to an additional free credit report for the year in which you filed it.  Order these reports a month after the fraud alert to make sure everything looks like you expect it to, including your personal information, accounts, judgments, collections, and inquiries.


Step 2: Consider filing an extended fraud alert

If after the 90-day period of the initial fraud alert you still feel compromised, consider filing for an extended fraud alert.  This will last for seven years.  Contact each credit-reporting agency individually.  You may be asked to submit a copy of your Identity Theft Report.


Step 3: Think about filing a civil suit in court

While the money from financial theft is often never recovered, it may be worthwhile to sue the company or individual that is responsible for your loss, if known.  Contact the National Crime Victim Bar Association at to connect with a local attorney.


Step 4: Don’t blame yourself

Cons, scams, and fraud schemes happen to millions of Americans every year—you are not alone.  Try not to blame yourself for being the victim.  Share your story with others and be a role model for other survivors.


Step 5: Know that resources are available to help:

There are resources available to victims of cons, scams, or fraud schemes.  Go to the National Identity Theft Victims’ Assistance Network at to learn more.