Report a scam on the Internet
Internet. A place where scams swarm. But what should you do when you’re the victim of a scam, or discover a fraud? One of the first things should be is to report it, so that someone else won’t fall for it! But how? And where? Let’s review the possibilities.
There are three types of websites where you can report scams :
- Community websites dedicated to the topic
- Government websites
- Companies’ fraud report services
Report a scam on community websites
Some websites are specialized in referencing scams. This way, they update lists of online scammers through their email address, their phone number, or their various pseudonyms. Thanks to these websites, you just need to type a suspicious email adresses in any search engine to find out information on a potential reporting.
ScamWatcher.com : with over 237,000 online scams reported on this website, this is one of the biggest fraud databases online. Reporting a scam is simple and takes only a few seconds thanks to the instant validation of your report.
Scamwarners.com : report & support : here are the two main missions of the scamwarners. If you fell for a scam, you can report it here, but also ask for advice or simply share your story and how you dealt with the fraud.
419eater.com : this website is the online gathering place of a lot of scambaiters, people who “scam the scammers”. The local forum allows you to report scam, and an open database is kept up to date with all the information known about reported scammers.
Report a scam to government website
Governments are aware of the threats of scammers and frauders. This is the very reason why they created official websites specialized in dealing with this kind of problem. A crime is a crime, online or not. So, here are a few websites that are able to help you.
USA Government’s Internet Fraud Information : The first place to go when you’re in doubt about where and if you can report a scam. This page provides information about the various official authorities able to help you, depending of the type of fraud you’ve encountered.
Federal Trade Commission Complaint Assistant : covering a wide range of categories of scams and frauds, this website will give you all the information you need to take the next legal step.
Internet Crime Complaint Center : someone hacked into your computer? Stole your identity? Extorted money from you online? This website is specialized in dealing with the most serious crimes. If you think you fell for a major cybercrime, report it to the ICCC.
Report a scam to a company
Sounds simple, and yet, a lot of victims don’t report the scam they fell for to the website they were using when it happened. But reporting it not only helps the company behind the website to make it safer, but it also allows them to give more advice to their users about potential frauds and how to protect themselves.
Facebook : Did someone manage to hack your account? Then, you need to report it as soon as possible so the frauder won’t use your name to steal from more people. If you spot any unusual activity on your account, you can report it to the Facebook Hacked Account page.
Ebay : Things started well, but the buyer/seller isn’t as honest as you thought? The eBay security center can help you with protecting you but also gives advice to the victims of scams. And this is the place to report a scammer so the website can take measures against them.
Craiglist : The website also has a page “About scams” where you can learn about how to recognize a potential scam, and how to make all your deals in the safest way. Of course, a forum also allows you to report a fraud.
Let’s say I’ve been scammed… how should I proceed?
- If it happened on a website, please warn the company behind it as soon as possible so they can stop the scammer, and provide you with all the proofs and help you need for any legal action against the frauder.
- Report the scammer to a communautary website. This way, anytime the scammer will try the same fraud again, a simple search on any search engine will stop potential victims from falling for it.
- Read the government websites to know what to do and how to proceed to obtain reparations when it is possible.
Remember that scammers often manage to scam people because they weren’t reported fast enough, giving them the time they needed to make their scam work again and again. Don’t give them a chance to ruin the day and life of other people : when you spot one, report it as fast as you can!
Do not hesitate : frauders, scammers…let’s get rid of them and make the web a safer place together!