How to Report Fraud?

It's almost been a year since my last blog and for that I would like to apologize. As I sit at my desk and listen to calls that my team receives on a dail basis there are two themes that I hear evey day. First, how do I report fraudulent activity? Secondly, what do I do if I'm a victim of fraud?

Fraud on the internet is common place. The schemes range from work from home schemes to criminals posting ads for vehicles that they do not have. How do I report fraudulent activity? Almost every website on the internet today has a section where consumers can contact the company in question. Below are some tips on how to report fraud:
  • Open up your favorite browser and search "Specific company" customer service (as an example, Cars.com customer service). A basic search will lead to you finding a contact number for the company in question.
  • Once you are placed in contact with a company's Fraud Prevention or Investigation Department, be prepared to give as much detail as possible and provide any documentation requested.
  • Whenever I've interviewed victims of fraudulent activity, the best interviewees are the people that have written down the details of what happened. This includes the dates and time of when things happened and they have kept documents (like e-mails or fake invoices) that they received from the criminals.

Now that I've answered the question, how do I report fraudulent activity?  Let's tackle the question, what do I do if I'm the victim of fraud?

  • Don't delay in reporting fraud; the longer you wait to report the fraud, the longer the criminals have to get away with the goods or money.
  • If you have lost any money in a scheme, file a police report with your local law enforcement agency.
  • Then contact the institution/company where the fraud took place to report it. As an example, if your bank account or credit card account was compromised contact your bank or credit card issuer.
  • If you think your identity was stolen, contact one of the credit reporting agencies to place an alert on your social security number. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a good website with tips on how to further protect your identity. The website is as follows: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
  • If you've fallen victim to an internet scam please report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at http://www.ics.gov/default.aspx. IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

Until next time, stay safe.




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