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Fight back: How to report an internet scam

Fight back: How to report an internet scam
© Carlosbcna | Dreamstime

Identity theft. Phishing. Spam. Malware. Sometimes the internet feels like the Wild West where you need to be ever vigilant about the world around you. Internet fraud is a growing problem, as criminals come up with new and clever ways to steal information and money. If you are the victim of an internet scam or suspect you’ve received a fake email designed to poach your personal information, you can take a stand for justice and report your experience. Here’s how to do it.

Visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center

Sometimes the unthinkable happens and you fall prey to an online scammer. Perhaps you lost money, a hacker violated your computer, or you paid for a fake product or service that was never delivered. It’s time to file an official report with the U.S. government through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. The FBI defines an internet crime as “any illegal activity involving one or more components of the Internet, such as websites, chat rooms, and/or email.”

Don’t fall for this tax-time phishing scam. Check out the FBI’s warning here.

When you file a complaint, the FBI requests you share as much information as possible, including your name, address, telephone number, financial transaction details, and any information you gleaned about the person or party who scammed you. Be sure to hang onto any supporting evidence, including emails, receipts or chat transcripts. Gather all of this together before you submit your complaint to make the process easier.

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