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These days, scams are everywhere. With the increase in technology, it makes it easier for fraudsters to get over on unsuspecting victims.
In 2019, more than 3.2 million fraud reports were filed to the Federal Trade Commission. Thankfully, there are resources that help to fight against fraud and other criminal activity.
If you’ve been a victim or you suspect suspicious activity, take a look at the information below to learn how to report a scam website.
The Different Types of Scams
There are several kinds of online scams out there. With so many fraudsters looking for naive consumers, there’s a lot to be aware of. Here are some of the most common online scams:
1. Email Scams
One of the most common phishing scams comes through email. For instance, you might receive a message in your inbox from a website where you have an online profile.
The message will likely ask you to verify your email address. The body of the email itself may look legit, but there will always be some type of giveaway to let you know it’s a scam.
One of the biggest giveaways is the sender’s email address. It won’t have a business name, but it’s usually a generic domain email address.
If you happen to click the verify button in the email, it’ll redirect you to a fake landing page asking you to provide your username and password. When you enter that information, it steals it.
Scammer use this type of scheme is to hopefully get access to other accounts with the same login credentials. For this reason, is vital to have a strong, unique passcode for all of your online accounts.
2. Social Media Scams
Another trick to look out for is social media hacking. Hackers want access to your friends and followers to send direct messages for monetary gain.
The usual trick is to pretend as if their wallet has been stolen or some of the emergency has occurred and they need money.
If this happens to a friend of yours, reach out to them personally to make sure that it’s them.
One of the best ways to spread the word when something like this happens is to take a screenshot of it. If you own a Mac computer, follow the highlighted link to learn how to take a screenshot on a Mac.
3. Romance Fraud
Another one of the biggest schemes out there is romance fraud. With the increased popularity of dating apps, there’s more potential for scams. Many times, fraudsters will build a relationship with a victim in hopes of monetary gain.
The most common scam is to pretend as is if they need money for an emergency. They may also ask for funds to buy a plane ticket to come and see their “lover” and never show up.
Also, many scammers will have multiple victims at a time. They’ll gain their trust and pretend to be in a solid relationship. Once they are bonded, they’ll ask for money for business investments, gain access to their “lover’s” bank account, and more.
This type of fraud is especially dangerous because people are more vulnerable when their heart is open and their guard is down. This is especially true if they believe they’re in love and in a lasting relationship.
Vulnerability makes it a lot easier for criminals to extort lots of money.
How to Report a Scam Website
If you want to report a scam artist or report a scam website, there are several ways to do it. When you notice anything strange, it’s important to let the proper authorities know.
By doing so, you could save numerous people from being a victim of criminal activity. Below are the most common ways to report a scam:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The Federal Trade Commission is the primary agency to contact to report a scammer. You can submit your complaint online or call them at 1-877-382-4357. The FTC receives tips regarding the most common scams, such as:
- Imposter scams
- Fake checks
- Phone calls
- Prize and sweepstakes offers
- Requests for money via wire transfers, gift cards, and checks
You can also report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
The Department of Justice
The Department of Justice helps to fight against fraudster and protect consumers. They are especially interested in protecting the elderly, veterans, and service members.
You can report a scam through the Department of Justice website. The site has a list of various fraud cases and depending on the scam you’ve witnessed, they’ll provide a suggestion on how you should file the complaint.
Federal Bureau of Investigations
The FBI is known for handling serious crimes. However, consumers can submit scam reports to them through their Internet Crime Complaint Center website. There, you can provide specific details of the scam and any other information you have.
The Better Business Bureau
There are lots of fake businesses out there looking to get money from consumers. The Better Business Bureau is one of the best places to check the legitimacy of a company. If you visit their website, you can double-check to see what scams have been reported in your area and report fraud as well.
Your Local Police Department
If the scam you encounter is targeting the residents in your area, it’s a good idea to let the local law enforcement know. If there is a scammer in your city, local police can likely track them down quickly.
Take a trip down to the station or make a non-emergency phone call to file the complaint.
Be Smart and Protect Yourself
Now that you know how to report a scam website, you should feel better. Although there are many people with malicious intent around every corner, you can protect yourself by being smart and reporting malicious behavior.
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