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Report Scams and Frauds
With so many kinds of scams, it’s hard to figure out where to report each type. Gather emails, receipts, and phone numbers so you’re prepared to complete your report.
Report Scams to Your Local Government
Start by reporting the scam to your state consumer protection office. If you lost money or other possessions in a scam, report it to your local police too.
Report Scams to the Federal Government
You can report scams to the federal government. 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.
Do not use the contact information included in scam messages. Use verified contact information in USA.gov’s federal agency directory to report other government imposters.
Report Disaster and Emergency Scams
Report coronavirus scams and other scams about disasters and emergencies.
- Use the National Center for Disaster Fraud’s web complaint form or call 866-720-5721.
- Find more information on identifying and reporting coronavirus scams.
Report Most Common Scams
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main agency that collects scam reports. Report the scam to the FTC online, or by phone at 1-877-382-4357 (9:00 AM – 8:00 PM, ET). The FTC accepts complaints about most scams, including these popular ones:
- Phone calls
- Computer support scams
- Imposter scams
- Fake checks
- Demands for you to send money (check, wire transfers, gift cards)
- Student loan or scholarship scams
- Prize, grants, and sweepstakes offers
The FTC also collects reports of identity theft. Report identity theft online at IdentityTheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338 (9:00 AM – 8:00 PM, ET).
Report Online and International Scams
Report fake websites, emails, malware, and other internet scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Some online scams start outside the United States. If you have been affected by an international scam, report it through econsumer.gov. Your report helps international consumer protection offices spot trends and prevent scams.
Report Social Security or IRS Imposter Scams
Scammers often pretend to work for the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Common signs include:
- Threats of arrest or lawsuits
- Demands for payments
- Suspension of your social security number
- Cancellation of your social security benefits
Report IRS imposters to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). To report by phone, call TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484.
Report Scams to Third Parties
You may want to report the scam to organizations outside of the government. Third parties may be able to get your money back or remove fraudulent charges.
Report a scam that happened with an online seller or a payment transfer system to the company’s fraud department.
If you used your credit card or bank account to pay a scammer, report it to the card issuer or bank. Also report scams to the major credit reporting agencies. Place a fraud alert on your credit report to prevent someone from opening credit accounts in your name.
Report Suspected Tax Fraud
Report suspected tax fraud to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You may be eligible to claim a Whistleblower Informant Award for reporting the fraud. Report state tax fraud to your state’s department of revenue or other tax authority.
Tax-related identity (ID) theft is another form of tax fraud. It happens when someone steals your Social Security number to get a tax refund. Report this type of fraud using IRS form 14039 (PDF, Download Adobe Reader).
Report threatening calls or emails claiming to be from the IRS to them online or by calling 1-800-366-4484. Forward any website links that claim to be the IRS, but don’t start with “www.irs.gov” to email@example.com.