What to do if you're a victim of fraud (before and after it happens)
Avoiding Fraud: What To Do If You're Scammed
(what to do BEFORE and AFTER it happens)
We're frequently asked: "Who can I turn to report a scam about...?" or "Is this company legit or a fraud...?"
We hope you never fall victim to fraud. And as a subscriber to Internet ScamBusters, you're much less likely to get taken than other people.
However, if it does happen, here are some excellent fraud prevention and reporting resources to help you. You can also use them to find out if a company is on the up and up before you send in your hard earned money. There's also some valuable email address and phone numbers at the bottom of the page.
Report Scams: What To Do If You Get Scammed Internet Scambusters issue #21 includes some other great fraud protection resources to check.
Internet Fraud Complaint Center is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center which addresses fraud committed over the Internet by providing an easy to use way of alerting the authorities.
ConsumerSentinel is a an excellent international resource and online database with lots of information on Internet scams and fraud. It includes lots of information and the opportunity to file a complaint online.
ScamWatch, an agency of InterGov, lets you file a scam complaint. These services include investigation, tracking, recording and removal of fraudulent activities (scams) on the Internet. All services are available 24 hours a day and are cost free. They process over 1,500 complaints a day.
The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection offers timely Consumer Alerts and more than 150 consumer publications on a wide range of topics, including credit, advertising, e-commerce and the Internet and other marketplace issues.
World is the Internet's consumer megasite, with over 1200 links to everything
"consumer" including consumer information, complaint departments,
SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) General information about how to protect yourself against investor fraud online. Includes information on how to complain or ask questions about investor fraud. Also visit their Complaint Center for investment scams.
Findlaw links to the website of the Attorney General for each state.
State Regulators provides both addresses of state securities agencies as well as available Web sites, to assist investors with problems and questions.
Better Business Bureau - Register a complaint.
Directory of Better Business Bureaus - Locate a BBB.
Coalition Website Additional data and analysis on the Nigerian Scam,
plus latest news and other information.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a nonprofit consumer information and advocacy program. It offers consumers a unique opportunity to learn how to protect their personal privacy.
TheGuardianAngel.com offers an Interactive database of Positive ID profiles so that you can know who you, or your kids, are talking to on-line and includes many original articles about the various dangers that exist on the Internet and how to set up defenses against them. Also sponsors the Internet Safety Forums where you can get answers from experts on a variety of Internet Safety related topics.
Victim-Assistance Online is a non-profit organization serving the international community. The main purpose is to act as an on-line reference and communications resource for: victim assistance service and support organizations; the staff and volunteers of these organizations; professionals in related fields and the general public.
Valuable Email Addresses and Phone Numbers
- Stock scams and stock spam (unsolicited commercial email): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Email address of the FTC where "Get Rich Quick" unsolicited commercial email scams should be sent: email@example.com
- Email address of the US Postal Inspection Service where all "Chain Letter" unsolicited commercial email scams should be sent: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Canadian telemarketing fraud taskforce: 1-888-495-8501
- AOL Members Only (only for spam from outside of AOL) - TOSSpam