With loopholes and intelligence developing rapidly, technology has effectively been the bridge for most wrong deeds to occur. One of which is being vulnerable to an ongoing scam. If you have been scammed, fret not, as you can easily find the ideal answers to get hold of the scammer. By utilizing the information in the article, you can easily provide an answer: How do you track a scammer? Scams on various platforms and methodologies can be categorized based on personal interest. As in most cases, scams happen when your phone number is known to the scammer; the answer to the question of how to track a scammer through a phone number will be answered here. Hence, consider the advantage of being cautious and grabbing the chance to catch the scammer. Let’s proceed with the article and find out how to trace a phone scammer.
Here, we have explained the ways to track down someone who scammed you in detail.
How to Track Down Someone Who Scammed You
The Scammers would use burner email addresses or temporary phone numbers to ensure they don’t get tracked down. In addition to this, they may be ghosted from their social media accounts and profiles. At most times, the scammers would exhibit one or many characteristics as listed below.
- Same usernames- The scammer would have multiple accounts with the same username, or the username of the person may be similar to other accounts.
- Gift cards- The scammer would trick you into purchasing any gift card or utilizing any offer. These may be either outdated or in some cases, may not exist, as well
- Asking for financial assistance- If the person asks for financial assistance by quoting the need for any empathetic matter, you have known the answer to how do you track a scammer.
- Familiar- To gain trust and confidence, the person would speak with you in a familiar tone and say that you two are well-acquainted.
- Urgent tone- Scammers would have a tone of urgency that tells you to act instantly. They take the advantage of the minimal time to gain the maximal benefit without blowing their covers.
- Delete accounts- The scammer if found to be not genuine, would delete all the posts or his account completely without any prior notice.
- No reply– The person would cut off contact with you and all the questions may remain unanswered
Method 1: Through Search Engine Research
The search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, use a set of algorithms to find out the source of a person. You can use the options listed here to search for the exact identity of the person using any of the digital trails of the person.
- Search the name of the person with quotation marks on the search bar, such as, “Robert onsen”.
- Connect the username of the account to any of the pseudonyms or try reversing the characters of the name to find a match. As mentioned in the previous option, search for the person using the search bar.
- If you have the email address of the person, the answer to the question of how do you track a scammer is simple. You can type the email address on the search bar and verify if the results page points to any verified business or personal account
- To know how to track a scammer through phone number, you can search for it on the web. If the person’s phone number is blocked or reported as spam, you can get an idea of the number in the web result as well.
- You can also search for other factors like business name, vehicle license plate, or address, on the search bar to get an idea of the location or profession of the person.
Method 2: Through WHOIS Domain Search
The WHOIS Domain Search tool helps in locating the registration information of a website from the relevant database that contains information of all relevant websites based on the query using the in-built WHOIS search engine. This is usually used to find out the owner of the website or the availability of a particular domain name, however, you can use it to find out how to track down someone who scammed you. If the person is listed on the verified website, you can understand the person is genuine. This can help in taking caution while proceeding with the payments.
Also Read: Top 28 Best Bug Tracking Tools
Method 3: Through IP Tracing
If the person has not hidden or altered their IP address using software like VPN, you can easily trace the location of the person using their IP address. To know how do you track a scammer, you can search the geolocation of the IP address using the What is My IP Location website, and find the coordinates of the person.
- If the person has a public profile, you can use the WHOIS Domain Search as discussed earlier to find the IP address.
- If you have received an email from their Gmail account, you can click on the three vertical dots on the top-right corner of the message, and then click on the Show original option to reveal the IP address.
Method 4: Through Internet Archive Wayback Machine
To find how to trace a phone scammer, you can use the details listed for the search result of any particular phone number on this Internet Archive website. It helps in finding the genuineness of a particular website, regardless of the operation status of the website. Even if the website is shut down, outdated, removed, or changed, you can have a basic idea of how the website looked at a particular date and time.
Also Read: How to Find or Track your Stolen Android Phone
Method 5: Through Social Media Profiles
One of the widely practiced options to trace any person is to verify their Social media activity or by identifying the person’s Social media profile. The Social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.
- Being the hub that contains information about all people on the web, you can try searching for the person on various Social Media platforms. This will help in identifying the person and finding if they are genuine or not.
- Also, if there are multiple profiles, the answer to how do you track a scammer can be found by narrowing down the search result with filters like their place of residence or work.
- If you can get access to any of their pictures, you can use it to perform a reverse image search to find the person.
- To find how to track a scammer through phone number or email address, you can use it to search on the search bar of these platforms. If the results direct you to a genuine and verified profile, the person is not a scammer.
Method 6: Through Reverse Lookup Tools
If you have some evidential information about the person, you can use the various lookup tools to search for the true identity of the person. The possible options to search for the person are given in this section.
Option I: Username Lookup Tools
If you have the specified username or the contact details of the person on any of the social media platforms, it can be easy to find how to track down someone who scammed you, as you can look up the username in the tools to find the identity of the person.
- In case the person contacts you through various social media platforms, you can use username lookup tools like BeenVerified to search for the identity of the person. The well-constructed report would have all the essential information required to find out if the person is genuine.
- For finding how do you track a scammer, in addition to the methods given here, you can search for the person using their email address on these lookup tools. You can get an idea of other lookup tools that searches the identity of the person across the enormous database using the link given here.
Option II: Phone Lookup Tools
If you have the phone number of the person, as usually happens in phone scams, you can use it to find how to trace a phone scammer by performing a phone lookup to identify the person.
- The reverse phone lookup tools have enormous databases from which the details of the person can be matched using the comprehensive data engine. At the end of the people search, you can obtain a detailed report. You can read our guide on various phone lookup tools like Intelius and other alternatives to find how to track a scammer through phone number using the link given here.
- Another option is to trace the number using the TrueCaller website and identify the original details of the person.
Also Read: How to Unlist Your Number from Truecaller
Option III: Reverse Image Search
To gain trust, it is common for scammers to post fake profile pictures on their social media accounts. To find out if the person is genuine or not, you can save the picture and run a reverse image search on the web that uses image metadata and proprietary technology to scan the images. The source of the picture would get displayed which you can use to find how do you track a scammer. If you find the picture pointing to the specified social account, the person is not a scammer. To learn about many such reverse image search tools, you can use the link given here.
Option IV: Track Location
To find if the person exists or not, you can try searching for the person on any of the tracking websites like GeoFinder. Read the article using the link given here to find out the methods to track someone on Google Maps.
Method 7: Through Public Records
If you are aware of the real name of the person, along with a few essential pieces of information, you can use them to cross-verify with the public records. This can be verified from personal information such as date of birth, in all the documents and files contained by the Government. As this process is tedious and time-consuming, it is necessary to ensure that you get access to maximal and precise information, such as full name or social security number.
Method 8: Hire Private Investigator
If you feel like there is an urgent need to find how to track down someone who scammed you accurately and quickly, you can hire a private investigator as a final option. The main advantage of the option to find how do you track a scammer is that, the investigator would use his specialized knowledge and experience in attempting and finding the exact identity of the person. To fasten the investigation, it is best to choose an investigator whose experience lies in conducting online scam investigations.
Also Read: 20 Best Cell Phone Tracking Apps
Precautions to Avoid Further Scams
The best course of cautionary action can always be fruitful to avoid any further loss of valuable information. As an initial step, it is necessary to admit the fact that there is some loophole on your side but being scammed is not completely your fault. You can follow the recommendations given in this section to find out how to trace a phone scammer and avoid any further scams.
- Avoid and Block Spam Calls: As a first step to finding how to track a scammer through phone number, block the numbers that are marked as Spam or that you feel to be Spam. Stop contact with the person you feel to be a scammer and in addition, avoid calls that come from unknown numbers. Also, if you receive any phone calls, in which, the person claims to refund the lost money in a scam, cut off the contact immediately.
- Use Escrow Service: To avoid loss of money and valuable data, it is preferable to use an escrow service, in which, the exchange of goods and money is handled through an acknowledged third party. To find out how do you track a scammer, you have to validate the email address from which you receive the email and other information.
- Use Authorized Payment Gateway:Avoid paying for any unauthorized service and stick to using well-known online retailers. If the payments page on the website is not marked secure, avoid paying to the site; and in the worst case, if you have paid to the website, avoid paying any further.
- Secure Access:The first step is to alter the user credentials of all platforms to limit unauthorized access to your accounts. If the person has remote access to your PC, it is advised to update the security software, run a virus scan and delete the malware and keylogging software. Also, it is best to use validated anti-virus software. In case of phone scams, contact your Network Service Provider to regain access to your phone and alter your account password, such as iTunes on iPhones.
- Check Validity of Financial Security:If you have active insurance, you can check if the insurance covers the losses incurred during the scam. Also, you can contact a tax consultant or a financial counselor to ask if the money lost is reversible, and then find out how to track down someone who scammed you.
- Reverse Transactions: It is best to reverse the transactions before finding the answer to how do you track a scammer. If you have processed some payment, it is best to cancel or reverse the transaction, if the page has been loading for a longer duration. If you have paid using your debit or credit card, you can contact the respective Banks and ask them to reverse the transactions. In case of wired transactions, you can contact a Wire Transfer Company like MoneyGram and request them to not process the payment. If you have paid using a money transfer app, it is best to contact them and ask them to reverse the charges. In case of an expired gift card, you can contact the Gift card company, provide the gift card receipt as evidence, and ask them to refund the money, if it is eligible for a refund. If you have sent the money as cash by mail or any delivery service, you can contact the US Postal Inspection Service or the respective service and ask them to intercept the charge. To find how to track a scammer through phone number, you can notify the companies of the phone number linked to your bank account. It is not the case in Cryptocurrency, as it is usually irreversible, however, you can try contacting them for assistance.
- Report to Authorities:To notify others of a pertaining scam and to take immediate action to recover the lost money, it is best to report the matter to the concerned authorities. You can report the case to the Police, FTC (Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice), or Credit Bureaus like Equifax. In the case of money scams, it is best to report the issue to the concerned banks. For this purpose, you have to collect all information and supporting documents and then, file a case against the scammer.
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The article answers the question of how do you track a scammer. Kindly spare a few minutes to let us know your suggestions and queries in the comments section. Also, please let us know which of these methods was effective in answering the question of how to track down someone who scammed you.
Can a scammer be traced? ›
An IP address can be used to trace the location of the scammer if the IP address is not hidden using a VPN or other means. There are a variety of ways to obtain someone's IP address.Can you trace a scammer phone number? ›
Another number you can use to trace a call is *57. This is the number to use if you believe a scam or spam caller is harassing you. *57 gets you the phone number and call information *69 does, but it goes above and beyond. When you dial *57, the information you obtain is passed along to the police.Who can help me track down a scammer? ›
Hire a private investigator
Your private investigator will use these same tips, along with their own specialized knowledge, to make all attempts to reveal the identity of the scammer. Private investigators have specialized areas of expertise.
- The caller tries to get you to reveal sensitive information. ...
- The caller tries to frighten you with threats or bad news. ...
- You are told to transfer money immediately for an urgent pending payment. ...
- They claim to call from reputable companies, but the number looks suspicious.
Your report may keep others from experiencing a scam. Government agencies use reports of scams to track scam patterns. They may even take legal action against a company or industry based on the reports. However, agencies don't follow up after you report, and can't recover lost money.How can I expose an online scammer? ›
Report Internet Fraud
If you believe you're a victim of internet fraud or cybercrime, report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Or, you can use the FBI's online tips form. Your complaint will be forwarded to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement.
About Call Trace
Call Trace helps you handle obscene, harassing, or threatening calls. It should only be used to trace harassing or threatening calls that warrant legal action. After activating Call Trace, you must contact your local law enforcement agency.
Your phone number is an easy access point for scammers and identity thieves. Once they know your number, they can use it to send you phishing texts, trick you into installing malware and spyware, or use social engineering attacks to get you to hand over your personal identifying information (PII).What does * 69 do? ›
Call return (*69) automatically dials your last incoming call, whether the call was answered, unanswered or busy. Call within 30 minutes, during which you can still make and receive calls. To deactivate while waiting for the party you are trying to reach to become available, dial *89.Where should I go if I get scammed? ›
Contact your financial institution
Your credit card provider may be able to perform a 'charge back' (reverse the transaction) if your credit card was billed fraudulently. If you're not sure if you're being scammed, stop sending money. Scammers will keep asking for more money until you stop.
How do I get back from being scammed? ›
- Notify your bank or credit card issuer. ...
- Consider filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. ...
- Document the details. ...
- Consider a credit freeze.
Contact your bank immediately to let them know what's happened and ask if you can get a refund. Most banks should reimburse you if you've transferred money to someone because of a scam.Can a scammer steal your identity with your phone number? ›
Criminals can take your current cell phone number then transfer it to a fake account in a practice known as porting. It allows identity thieves to use your phone number to access sensitive information, including bank, retirement, and cryptocurrency accounts.How do you find out who a number is registered to? ›
One option is to use reverse lookup services, which will provide you with the owner's name and address. Another option is to use an online search engine, such as Google or Bing, which will allow you to input the phone number and see who owns it.How do I find out whose phone number is? ›
Using Google, type the phone number in the search field with the numbers separated by hyphens (for example, 012-555-6789). Hit enter and you'll see results showing the phone owner's name and address.Can the police help if you have been scammed? ›
Contact the police immediately by calling 101 if: the scammer is in your area. you've transferred money to the scammer in the last 24 hours.Should I mess with a scammer? ›
It's never worth responding to a scammer
You're probably another number on a long list of them that scammers are hitting up en masse to see who bites. Once they know your number is legit, they'll come after you that much harder, or they'll sell your number to others who will.
With your personal information, scammers can: access and drain your bank account. open new bank accounts in your name and take out loans or lines of credit. take out phone plans and other contracts.Do online fraudsters get caught? ›
More than 20,000 arrests in year-long global crackdown on phone and Internet scams. Targeting rising trends in telephone and online scams, Operation First Light intercepted over 150 million dollars in illicit funds.Is scamming someone online a crime? ›
Online fraud, more commonly known as scamming, can lead to harsh legal penalties. In general, computer crimes that involve unlawfully accessing, changing, or damaging a computer, computer system, or computer network may result in a fine, imprisonment, or both.
Will a scammer meet you in person? ›
Con artists are present on most dating and social media sites. The scammer's intention is to establish a relationship as quickly as possible, endear himself to the victim, and gain trust. Scammers may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person, but that will never happen.What does * 31 do to your phone? ›
Hide Caller ID: *31#
The caller might have hidden the ID intentionally or sometimes it can be accidental. If you want to hide the caller ID dial *31# and press call button.
Call forwarding is disabled by dialing *73. This feature requires a subscription from the telephone company. Also available in some areas is Remote Access to call forwarding, which permit the control over call forwarding from telephones other than the subscriber's telephone.What happens when you dial * 35 * 0000? ›
You can prevent incoming and outgoing calls or SMS from and to all numbers: To set call barring for incoming calls dial *35*0000*11# To unblock your barring for incoming calls dial #35*0000*11# To set call barring for outgoing calls dial *33*0000*11#What are signs that your phone is hacked? ›
Unexpected freezing, crashes, and unexpected restarts can sometimes be symptoms. You notice strange activity on your other online accounts. When a hacker gets into your phone, they will try to steal access to your valuable accounts.Can someone hack your bank account with your name and email? ›
Your online bank accounts can also be a major target for hackers, especially if you use your email address as a login for those, too. And, needless to say, once a hacker has access to those, your money is in serious jeopardy. “This is one of the biggest risks you'll face from an email hack,” Glassberg says.What information can a scammer get from my phone? ›
Scammers use auto-dialers and spoofed area codes to trick people into picking up the phone. From there, it's a numbers game. The scammers want to get as much personal information from the call recipient as possible. That can include anything from names and birth dates to credit card numbers.What does * 82 mean on a cell phone? ›
*82 - Unblocks Caller ID on one outbound call
This star code will unblock your caller ID for a single outgoing call if you have previously used *61 to block caller ID for all outbound calls.
Anonymous Call Rejection (*77) stops calls from people that use a blocking feature to keep their name or number from being displayed. When Anonymous Call Rejection is turned on, callers will hear a message telling them to hang up, turn off the blocking feature, and call again.What is Star 57 mean? ›
Malicious caller identification, introduced in 1992 as Call Trace, is activated by Vertical service code Star codes *57, and is an upcharge fee subscription service offered by telephone company providers which, when dialed immediately after a malicious call, records meta-data for police follow-up.
What if a scammer has my name and address? ›
Can thieves steal identities with only a name and address? In short, the answer is “no.” Which is a good thing, as your name and address are in fact part of the public record. Anyone can get a hold of them. However, because they are public information, they are still tools that identity thieves can use.What can a scammer do with your SSN? ›
A dishonest person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, when they use the credit cards and don't pay the bills, it damages your credit.Can a scammer get into your bank account? ›
Yes, this is possible. Identity theft was the number one reported type of fraud in 2020 [*], according to the FTC. When scammers gain access to your personal information by phishing, for example, they can do one or more of the following: Gain access to your bank account and spend or transfer all your money.