How To Report a Scam Website
How To Report a Scam Website: A Must-Read Guide in 2020
Are you looking at how to report a scam website? If you have ever been taken advantage of by a shady online business, you know how frustrating the experience can be. Also, how difficult of a process could be to report a scam website. But we’re here to help regardless where you live, so let’s take a look.
Online fraudsters create fake websites and hijack real ones to make it almost impossible to tell if you are being taken advantage of. In the modern online era, we see people being taken advantage of by scam websites more and more.
Read on to learn how you can report a scam website if you have had a bad experience with one yourself (here is also a list of scamming websites).
Your First Response
If you have fallen prey to a scam website, your first and best response is to make the incident known. You may think turning to the police is the only answer, but there may be little your local department can do to help. While it is always important to file a report with your local authorities, you will also want to file a report with your regional reporting center.
One such site is the Crime Complain Center, regardless if you live in the United States, Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom. The world became a smaller place since the advancement of technology.
If you feel the scam website that targeted you deals with deceptive or unfair business practices, you can escalate your report to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). What can you do? You can file a complaint online on this FTC page. You can also contact them at 1-877-FTC-HELP, or via regular mail at Federal Trade Commission, CRC-240, Washington, D.C. 20580.
Finally, if you suspect the scam website you are dealing with is based in another country other than the USA, you can check out Econsumer.gov.
The FTC handles cybercrime such as scam websites, computer customer support scams, and scam emails (such as the OD Collective Ambassador scam). They also investigate other non-tech scams like check fraud, wire and gift card fraud, student loan scams, and scams based around prizes and sweepstakes.
Reporting Scam Websites Wherever You Are
You can use the following links provided to report scam websites in your location and take the very first steps to protect yourself (and others) now and in the future. Just click the relevant link to learn more about reporting scam websites in your area. Make sure to be as detailed as possible to get the best results:
How to report a scam website if you’re located in the U.S.: Click HERE
How to report a scam website if you’re located in the U.K.: Click HERE
Here’s how to report a scam website if you’re located in Australia: Click HERE
How to report a scam website if you’re located in Canada: Click HERE
Respond to Local Scam Websites
If you are the victim of a scam on a local level, it can be challenging to know just where to turn. The first option should be your stare consumer protection office. Report your scam website to this office as soon as you can. If there was a theft of money or property involved in the website scam, you should go to your local police as well.
Report Scam Websites on a Federal Level
Sometimes you might get involved in a scam on a higher level. Interstate website scams and federal scam websites may take a different approach to get any justice or remedy to your problem. For U.S. citizens, the first line of defense for a federal crime is the FBI, which can be contacted at (202) 324-3000. You can also learn more on FBI’s website.
It is important to remember that it may be difficult to recover your material possessions or lost money when dealing with scam websites on a federal level. However, you can contribute to more massive databases that can help other people avoid the same problems you are having. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t expect to have your scam “solved” by a federal agency.
As a word of caution, you should always be careful about who you are contacting when reaching a government or federal office. One key strategy of scammers can be to impersonate government officials or spoof government numbers or website addresses to steal more information from you.
Health-Related Scam Websites
One of the worst feelings can be to be involved in a health-related website scam. Scammers use websites to take advantage of sick people, need medical assistance, or are in financial trouble because of their medical issues. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of in a health-related website scam.
Your best contact for a health scam is the Department of Health and Human Services. This department is part of the Office of the Inspector General. You can call the department at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or reach out to them online.
Tax Website Scams
Since everyone has to be involved with paying taxes or filing a tax return in some way, scammers have long used the IRS and tax fraud as a way to scam unknowing victims. The use of website scams in this pursuit is commonplace. If you think you’ve been the victim of a website scam targeting you based on taxes, contact the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), Canada Revenue Agency, HMRC (United Kingdom), or Australian Taxation Office (ATO) right away.
In the United States, not only can this be your first step in reaching a remedy, but it can also qualify you to claim a WIA, or Whistleblower Informant Award—a monetary reward offered for reporting tax scams and fraud.
If you are the victim of state-level tax fraud, contact your state department of revenue for more help on that level. Remember, the IRS or state tax collectors will not make threatening phone calls, demand money over the phone, or charge you money over any website other than their official presence.
IRS imposters will often threaten to cut off Social Security benefits, garnish wages, or otherwise compromise the victim’s source of survival income. The IRS and state-level tax departments will not engage in this sort of threatening behavior. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam website, act quickly to protect yourself.
Scam Websites Related to Disaster or Emergency
In times of disaster and emergency, scammers are at their worst. Whether it’s a large-scale disaster like a hurricane or earthquake or something on a personal scale like a house fire or death in the family, catastrophes and emergencies make victims ripe to be taken advantage of by website scammers.
A first contact you should make is the National Center for Disaster Fraud. You can visit them online at the NCDF Web Complaint Form, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them at 866-720-5721. If you prefer to write in at mail, the address is National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.
If you fear for your safety following a disaster or emergency, do not hesitate to call the police.
Scammers are more frequently using fear and misunderstanding related to the Coronavirus to take advantage of unknowing victims. Be cautious of anyone who calls you asking for money or financial help – Coronavirus scams are on the rise. Contact trace research does not involve any financial transactions or gain, just collecting some anonymous health information.
If you are experiencing a scam related to the current Coronavirus emergency, you can contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud for help. The FTC may be able to help you at their Coronavirus-specific site.
If you are experiencing a scam related to the current Coronavirus emergency, you can contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud as well.
Using Econsumer.gov and BBB’s Scamtracker
You can access Econsumer.gov HERE. The website offers help to people who have been victimized through an online scam website. The site allows people from around the globe to report online scams and fake websites. By sharing this information, it is possible to understand trends in scam website operation.
There is an open component in which users can report and a database accessible by law enforcement officials from various countries as they work toward thwarting scam websites. Follow the above link to provide information about the scam website you’ve been dealing with.
Participating in the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker is another way to help protect yourself from future attempts by scam websites. The tracker collects detailed information on the victims of scam websites to help build a database that can be used to understand how to combat and prevent future crimes against victims. Just by filling out the information and sending it in, you can become part of a more considerable effort to combat scam websites.
Reporting is Key
By reporting your scam website with these resources, you will be able to respond to any fraudulent activity targeted at you or someone you know effectively. Reporting is the best way to make sure you and other victims do not fall to the same scam websites in the future, and we hope we’ve helped you learn how to report a scam website successfully.