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 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
- 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
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:
- 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.