Unless you're lucky, you will eventually get a "deadbeat" customer. Whether or not you will ultimately receive your money depends on how they scammed you.
If they knowingly wrote you a bad check, your chances for getting your money are reasonably good because that is a criminal offense. But if they stop payment on a credit card or ignore making good on payment from a Purchase Order transaction, receiving your money is more dicey.
Let's take bad check writers first. If a person writes you a NSF (non sufficient funds) check, they must make good on the payment, that is the law. If they do not, you can bring criminal proceedings against them to recover your money. As I am sure you understand every state will have it's own procedures on how to file charges for a bad check. Check with your local authorities or your attorney. Once the charges are filed, it can take from as little as a few weeks to more than a year to recover your money. Be patient, and do what is required of you as you will most likely get your money eventually.
As mentioned above, if your customer "stops payment" on a credit card transaction by putting the payment in "dispute," you will be required to write a letter to the credit card merchant processor explaining your side of the story. Simply tell the truth. If you did nothing wrong and the charge is valid, you will most likely receive your payment. Many times payments are put in dispute simply because the purchaser does not recognize your name on their credit card billing statement. If the name of your company is "John's T-Shirt Shop" but your company appears as "JTS Inc." in the merchant system, you may want to consider making the necessary changes to rectify that problem.
Be aware that a customer can put a credit card payment in dispute many months after they received the merchandise. This can be especially troublesome if the order was for a large sum of money and you have spent the proceeds. When you are in business you eventually end up dealing with all kinds of customers.
While most customers are honest and will fulfill their financial obligation of paying you in a timely manner, there will always be some that won't. Learn to take the bad with the good and do your best to avoid any problems before they arise by taking the necessary precautions.
ASPA Staff and others