How to Get My Money Back from a Scam?

If you can get your money back depends on three things: 

  • Speed: The faster you act, the better. Scammers will try to slow you down.
  • Payment method used: If you paid with a credit card or PayPal, you have a better chance to get your money back. 
  • Perseverance: Getting your money back takes time. Keep at it!

If you paid via Wire Transfer, Bank, or Cryptocurrency, chances of getting your money back are unfortunately very small.

What are Your Rights?

In most countries, you have the right to return a product within 7 (most Asian countries) or 14 days (in Europe). For services (software, movies) and certain goods (food, lingerie, etc.) different rules may apply.  

In nearly every country you are legally protected from being scammed. Do not feel ashamed, it happens to nearly everybody at least once. As a consumer, your national laws apply, even if you bought from a company abroad

Step 1: Build up your Case 

You first have to file a complaint with the online store or service provider.  

Make sure you keep a copy of all transactions and correspondence (invoices, emails, WhatsApp, Facebook messages, etc.). 

Only if they do not reply at all within 3 working days or you are (nearly) certain you got scammed can you take the next step. 

Clear signs of scams are:

  • The website is no longer active or redirects to another website.
  • You cannot withdraw your money or they want you to pay more to get your money back.
  • A delivery company is asking you to pay an additional fee (the Merchant should have charged you the full fee).

In these cases, do not wait and go to step 2 immediately. 

Step 2: File a Complaint 

Make sure you file a complaint as soon as possible (time matters!) to get your money back with the right company or points of contact.

If you paid:

  • With credit/debit card contact your card comook wel Vermogens-, Schuld- of Fondsherstelbedrijven genoemd, zijn helaas vaak zelf oplichters pany. More tips
  • With PayPal contact PayPal. More tips
  • Via a marketplace (eBay, Amazon, AliExpress) contact the platform. More tips.
  • Via wire/bank transfer contact your bank and your country police. More tips
  • If you paid with cryptocurrency, contact your crypto exchange and your country police. More tips.

Do NOT work with Money Recovery Services 

We DO NOT recommend working with Money Recover Services. These organizations, also called Asset, Debts or Fund Recovery companies are often scams themselves or dubious at best:

  • They give you the impression that it is easy to get your money back. It is not.
  • If you paid with a credit or debit card or PayPal it is usually easy and you do not need them.
  • If you paid with cryptocurrency or bank transfer it is nearly impossible to get your money back, especially if you paid more than a few days ago.
  • All paperwork still has to be done by you. Their added value is often limited.
  • In some cases, financial service providers do not want to work with them, making it even harder to get your money back.

We interviewed several Money Recovery Services. Their success rate is far less than 1% (but you still pay them).  

Recommended Crypto Investigators

There are many scam investigators that can help you trace your money trail if you have been scammed. Below is a list of our recommendations:

Cybertrace (Australia)


Cybertrace is an Australian investigative service with a focus on cyber and cypto fraud tracing. Since 2015, they have worked with law enforcement globally to conduct investigations and combat crypto scams.

CNC Intel (USA)


CNC Intel has been in the Cyber and Crypto Intelligence industry for over 40 years. Together with its legal tems, CNC Intel's OSINT and HUMINT teams have become quite a force to be reckoned with in regards to crypto fraud and access tracking.

Crystal Blockchain (Global)


Crystal Blockchain has a team of blockchain forensics experts that can unravel complex transactions, link pseudonymous blockchain transactions to real-world entities, and provide expert witness testimony and evidential statements related to blockchain analysis for use in criminal and civil legal cases.

Crypto Helpline (India)


Crypto Helpline is a fraud investigation agency that collaborates with law enforcement and legal professionals to track stolen funds. Though based in India, they have worked with over 200 scam victims globally.

Help & Info

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