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I've been scammed, what should I do?

As soon as you realise that you have been hooked by a scam, act as quickly as possible to protect yourself.

As soon as you realise that you have been hooked by a scam, from whatever source, you should act to protect yourself. If you act early enough, you may prevent or reduce the impact of a scam's sting.

I gave them my bank details
I've sent money
I gave my identity information
They came to my door
They got to me through my computer
I bought suspicious medicine

It's very important to act as quickly as possible, before it is too late.

In New Zealand

If the scam originates in New Zealand you may be able to get help under New Zealand law. In this case, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs advises you to:

  • Contact the Police to lay a complaint, as the scam may be illegal – and the scammers may be criminals who can be found and prosecuted.
  • Talk to your Citizens' Advice Bureau to get independent, impartial advice about what else you can do and where you may be able to go to get help or redress.

Overseas scam

If the scam originated overseas, New Zealand law is unlikely to be able to help you.

If you have sent money there is very little chance of getting it back.

You can follow up with the relevant Authority of the area from which the scam originated. You can find a list of Authorities and their jurisdictions at the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network.

Visit the ICPEN website.

You can also help to protect others from the scammers that have taken you in or tried to take you in. You can report the scam through our Protect Others section and we may publish information about it on our Alerts section, without revealing your identity.

Protect others from being scammed.


Last updated 20 May 2010