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USAGov’s Five Tips for Reporting a Scam

Date: August 5, 2020

Scammers target millions of Americans every year, and anyone can fall victim to their deceptive tricks.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 3 million reports of fraud.

With so many types of scams, it's hard to figure out where to report them.

Follow these five tips to know why, how, and where to report a scam:

  1. Collect information like email addresses, receipts, and phone numbers associated with the scam. You will need these items when filling out a report. 

  2. Start by contacting your state consumer protection office. If you’ve lost money, possessions, or other personal and valuable information, call your local police department.

  3. Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint assistant to report online. The FTC works to protect consumers and offers tips to help safeguard personal information. 

  4. If your information was stolen, such as Social Security, credit card, or bank numbers, go to IdentityTheft.gov. You can take specific steps to protect yourself depending on what information was lost.

  5. Place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert is a free service to keep you aware of the activity on your account and can make it harder for an imposter to open more accounts in your name. 

By reporting a scam, you could help identify fraud, bring them to justice, and protect yourself and others in the future. Learn more about reporting scams and how to protect your information from unwanted use at USA.gov/Stop-Scams-Frauds

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