How to Report a Scam

by Creating Change Mag
how to report a scam

Everyone should be ready to report bad business practices like scams and fraud. You can protect your community and yourself. The Federal Trade Commission reports that over $5.8 billion was lost to fraud last year online.

Complaints about imposter scams and reports on online scams involving shopping were #1 and #2. Identity theft is another big problem. Overall fraud cases were up 70% from 2020.

Reporting Fraud and Scams in 2022

It’s best to report scams and frauds to the federal government. Start by finding the official websites of the state consumer protection offices where you live.

The most common scams come through emails and phone calls. Computer-supported scams are common as are ones that demand you send money through wire transfers or gift cards. Identity theft is another common complaint. Statistics say most tax fraud offenders(75%) are male.


How To Report Fraud and Scams

There are several gov websites where either the actual victim or someone who knows about it can report fraud. For example, here’s a link to submit a tip to a national center at the securities and exchange commission. And one from the internal revenue service if you’ve been the victim of identity theft after giving out your social security number.

How to Report a Scam Phone Number

There are many different types of these scams. But there are government websites to report them. Like

Here’s how that works.

  1. Tell them what happened when you contact them on the right page.
  2. Go to the next steps about fraud.

The info you offer is shared with over 3,000 law enforcement agencies. Telephone scams try to steal money or sensitive information. Like a credit card or social security number.

The best places to report these are official government organization websites. They all have excellent contact info for fraud. Look for the right page.

How to Report a Scam Website

Scam websites use social engineering to craft online scams. Watch out for free gift cards and false virus alerts, and spelling mistakes. Plus requests for info like a social security number. Secure websites that are safely connected have a locked padlock icon.

Report fraud and suspicious activities to your bank or e-commerce stores like Amazon. Retailers should look for their official websites to contact them through a form. The locked padlock in the URL means that you’re safely connected.

How to Report a Scam Email

Fraud emails look legit. They try and get you to visit bogus websites or a page, share sensitive information, or download malware. Stay away from links you’re unsure of. And things like guaranteed loans and chain letters.

File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Another gov website. Here’s another note to pay attention to. The securities and exchange commission has sent out an alert warning about fraud. This exchange commission fraud alert details how to verify their identity when they contact you.

There’s more. Here are some of the tax fraud scams the IRS wants you to be aware of. This internal revenue service gov website points to fraud like spear phishing attacks. And they warn about the offer in compromise fake services. This type of fraud offers to settle a tax debt. Don’t contact these mills. They charge you money but don’t provide better services.

The internal revenue service website also lists four types of communication fraud. They list email, text messages, telephone, and social media as culprits. Suspicious activity here includes asking for a social security number when contact is made. The tax fraud that results can include filing bogus returns.


How to Report Facebook Scams

There are social media scams you need to be aware of too. Like one’s offering instant loans and money at low interest for a small advance. Report anyone who asks for a fee for a job application form.

Checking your login history for any suspicious activity on Facebook helps. Report fraud immediately.

How to Report a Scam on Facebook Marketplace

You can report a buyer or seller scam on Facebook marketplace. Here’s the kind of thing you can report online. Shipping scams are common. These scams have you paying for shipping on items you never get. Watch out for putting a deposit down on a car. The fraud here includes fake posts.

How to Report Craigslist Scam

It’s best to stay away from using sensitive information on this site. Using a masked anonymous email address is best as a contact reference. Criminals attempting fraud can even send fraudulent checks.

You can report consumer fraud at Don’t forget the URL to any possible consumer fraud websites.

How to Report Instagram Scams

Many social media websites fall prey to scams. Watch out for Instagram business accounts that are unverified. You’re safely connected when there’s a locked padlock in the URL. Never send money via this website.

Got a complaint? Go to the upper right-hand corner of the profile and click report. Follow the official instructions after that and fill out the form.

How to Report a Scam to Amazon

Watch out for fake order notifications at Amazon. Common attempts at fraud here include gift card scams. Be aware of the unauthorized use of trademarks for vehicle purchases. These can lead to having your identity stolen.

Lodging a complaint is easy. You can report a scam by choosing one of these links. They will take you to the right page.

How to Report a Scam on Paypal

Fraud has several different faces with PayPal. Fishing websites, fake hyperlinks scams, and advanced fee scams are just a few of the types of fraud.

Fake charities are another one you’ll need to report. Report scams and other types of fraud through the links on this page.

How to Report a Scam on Zelle

Zelle is a payment app. Call Zelle directly to submit fraud reports. Contact them at 1-844-428-8542. Here’s a link to report scams. There’s a form for each type.

There’s an official gov site to contact if you need to file a complaint or report scams. too. The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center. Scroll down to submit a complaint on fraud.

How to Report a Scam on Venmo

Here is another popular payment app. Watch out for chargeback fraud. A payment gets sent to you by “accident.” This fraud is about asking for the money back. If the card is stolen, there’s a chargeback.

Contact them to report fraud for possible legal action @ Prevent possible identity theft. Don’t share sensitive information like contact info and your social security number.

What Happens When You Report Fraud to the Internet Crime Complaint Center?

The public can send online internet crime complaints here. This is the official website of the government. It’s a division of the FBI so you’re safely connected. The gov services include sections helping you to understand identity theft and how to share sensitive information.

You can report scams and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) will investigate. Before you contact them read this form. The FBI has specially trained cyber fraud squads in all of their field offices. Here’s the link you can use to contact them and submit a report on fraud. There’s a form included.

What Scams Should You Report to the Federal Trade Commission?

The Federal Trade Commission is another government website. Contact them to report fraud. They are an official government organization. Always check the URL for official websites. Secure government websites will always have the padlock for a national center.

Contact the official website of the FTC. Reporting the following scams helps to reduce fraud.

  • The federal trade commission will look into telemarketing scams and other fraud. This official government organization looks into reports of vishing fraud.
  • Debt Relief and Mortgage Fraud. These are agents of the United States Government. They look for issues and help the numbers decrease. The FBI also has gov services that collect info for a Mortgage Fraud Database.
  • Fraudulent Health Products. Here even secure websites with padlocks in the URL make claims that aren’t safe or effective.
  • Sweepstakes scams are another kind of fraud this department of the United States Government hunts down. Suspicious activities include those asking for payment to receive money.

Can You Get Your Money Back If a Website Scams You?

You can try to get your money back by following these steps through your financial institution.

Contact Your Bank Through Their Secure Websites

  1. Gather the right information. Make copies of emails and all other messages.
  2. Put together a timeline of the money transferred with credit card statements.
  3. Describe the facts to your bank. Asking for confirmation in writing helps.
  4. Follow up after a month. The process might take up to 60 days.
  5. If you’ve been attacked by disaster fraud, you can contact the right United States government (gov) agency like FEMA. There is also a national center for disaster fraud with a form you can fill out. Disaster fraud is a deliberate attempt to scam somebody after a catastrophe. An individual person or a group can be involved. Get in touch with FEMA’s national center.

Does Reporting Phishing Emails Do Anything?

Reporting fishing emails to the right gov website will reduce the amount that you get. You can report them to

If you report an email address in Outlook, the email address will be blocked. Reporting phishing emails lowers the amount of’s scam emails you get. It also helps to build a database to protect others.

Finally, don’t forget the office of the Inspector General accepts hotline complaints. File a complaint by following this link. The office of the Inspector General reviews and investigates thousands of fraud complaints every year.

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