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Report Scams and Frauds

Learn where to report frauds and scams.

Report Scams and Fraud

With so many kinds of scams and fraud, 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. Use this information to learn where to report scams.

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 being a victim of 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 usually don’t follow up after you report, and can't recover lost money.

Do not use the agency contact information included in scam messages. Use contact information in the federal agency directory to report other government imposters. 

Report Disaster and Emergency Scams

Report coronavirus scams and other scams about disasters and emergencies.

Report Most Common Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main agency that collects scam reports. Report your scam online with the FTC complaint assistant, 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 
  • Emails
  • 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 a victim of an international scam, report it through econsumer.gov. Your report helps international consumer protection offices spot trends and prevent scams.

Report IRS or Social Security Imposter Scams

Scammers often pretend to work for the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Common signs include:

  • Robocalls
  • Threats of arrest or lawsuits
  • Demands for payments
  • Suspension of your social security number
  • Cancellation of your social security benefits

Report Social Security imposters online to SSA’s Inspector General. Call 1-800-269-0271 (10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, ET) to report by phone.

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.   

If you receive threatening calls or emails claiming to be from the IRS, report the fraud to the IRS 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 phishing@irs.gov.

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Last Updated: June 10, 2020

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