If you think you are a victim of an online shopping scam, we recommend that you act immediately by following our guidelines below, and then proceed to our ReportRecover, and Reinforce sections for further assistance.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

  • Collect all relevant documentation related to the scam and keep them in a secure file. You may need to provide this documentation when you file a report.
  • If you paid with a credit card, dispute the charge with your credit card provider right away:
  • If you paid with a debit card, call your bank or financial institution.
  • Report the scam to the online platform where you purchased the good or service:


Reporting scams to the FTC Complaint Assistant is very important! Once, you have arrived at the FTC website please click on the category “Online Shopping” to complete your report. The more national reporting data that is collected, the better the chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease online crime. Although the FTC does not resolve individual complaints directly, they will make your report available to local, state and other law enforcement partners. Please read the privacy policy here. (If you believe that you’ve received a phishing email, please forward the email directly to reportphishing@apwg.org.)


These resources have been gathered, selected and vetted to help simplify the process of recovering after a cybercrime incident has taken place. You may need to contact organizations outside Fraudsupport.org. Results will vary depending on your circumstances.


Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity using these resources and tools.

Implement Preventive Measures

  • Pay with a credit card, that way you can dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
  • Read the return, warranty, and privacy policies for the company or seller. If you can’t find or understand their policies, consider taking your business elsewhere.
  • Do your research on the company or seller, making sure that they have a physical address and the phone number and email address work.
  • Review the company on the Better Business Bureau.
  • Before entering financial information, be sure the site is secure. Find out how to spot a fake website.
  • Download our Six Steps to Better Security PDF.

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