Sharing a scam experience with someone you know takes courage. If someone trusts you enough to share their scam story, especially if the scammer is still in touch with them, here’s some advice to help guide you.

  • Lead with empathy. Respond with kindness and concern instead of criticizing or expressing disappointment. Scams can happen to anyone. Keep lines of communication open with a kind, concerned response.
  • Let them tell their story. Talking about a scam experience helps you both understand what happened. And talking about the scam also helps both of you spot it in the future.
  • Validate their story. The only person at fault here is the scammer — not your friend or family member. It’s a scammer’s job to steal money or information, and they’ll target anyone. Ask them not to blame themselves and, instead, blame the scammer.
  • Ask what we can do next together. See if their personal information was involved, too, so identity theft might be a concern. And see if they might want to report the scam. Their story can help protect friends, family, their community, and themselves, as well as helping law enforcement agencies like the FTC fight that scam.

Want more help for your friend or family member? Here are some resources:

If scammers find the right buttons to push at the wrong time — like when we’re distracted or stressed — any of us might just pay them or share information. Thank you for helping someone through a difficult time. 

Vector image of someone talking to someone they know that paid a scammer


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Submitted by Ralph K on April 11, 2024 | 12:30PM


The most important thing someone who has gotten taken to the cleaners is to document it both to Local and State Investigative Authorities as well as the State Attorney General & FBI Fraud Unit. Even if nothing ever comes of it, you’ll be alerting authorities that the fraudsters are active and believe it or not, it is a Federal Crime for using the US Mail to deceive consumers it is a Mandatory 5 Year Sentence for each act plus if it happens to an Elder it is considered as Elder Abuse with similar consequences and fines. It’s no joke! It is crucial to report it either way if for no other reason than for piece of mind.