You’ve seen the emails:

  • A Nigerian prince that selected you specifically to help him get back home with the promise of untold riches.
  • A lawyer for that great-great-great uncle you’ve never heard of telling you that you are the sole beneficiary to his vast, vast, vast estate. 

We’ve come to expect and often even laugh at these emails because of how insane they sound, and we think no one would ever fall for them.

But, cyber-scammers are getting more and more crafty everyday, employing tactics like pretending to work for government agencies, the police, and other authoritative figures. 

They use fake positions of power to attempt to scare you into providing them with a bank transfer or to paying off a tax bill in gift cards (a method chosen because of its inability to be traced).

Folks who would swear they could never be done in by a scheme like this have fallen prey to them – that’s how shifty they are!

So, what happens if you or a family member fall victim?

The first step is don’t panic. Approaching this sensibly and as clear-headed as you can. 

Contact your local police and file a report, then contact the company or bank that the funds were distributed through, such as the wire transfer or gift card company to see if there is any way they can stop the transaction.

Next, assess the impact. If you provided your Social Security Number, go to and follow their instructions, including how to monitor your credit. If you provided any login information to the scammer, change those passwords right away, and make sure they didn’t change any email addresses or contact numbers you may have had on file

Fraudsters will often take large amounts of money, but usually not beyond what you have available. A declined transaction means they don’t get their money. But, your account may have a substantial dent put in it, and if you don’t get your money back, you need to determine what impact this will have on your overall finances.

If you have become the victim of bank fraud, we can help you pick up the pieces and figure out just what those crucial next steps will look like for you. Give us a call at 513-563-PLAN (7526) or book online to have a free 15 minute chat with us.

Nikki Earley, CFP®