How to Report a Fraud
Protecting yourself and your family against fraud is of utmost importance. Recognizing scams early and reporting them are essential in recovering money lost through theft, as well as protecting sensitive information from criminals. Guide on Have i been scammed by Wintcoins?
Criminals pose as Social Security Administration employees or the Office of Inspector General and pressure you into providing personal data or paying benefits. Learn how to report scams and alter passwords.
If you or anyone in your circle have been victimized by scammers, speaking up early could help recover any lost funds and prevent future scams from being perpetrated in your community. File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker as soon as possible to alert everyone.
Recognizing a scam can help protect you from falling for it, but fraudsters use new techniques to scam money out of you and collect personal information. Scammers tend to exploit vulnerable times when planning funerals or during holiday seasons when people may be particularly susceptible.
Scammers may contact or email you impersonating the Social Security Administration (SSA) or other government agencies such as the Office of Inspector General (OIG). They may claim they offer grant money, pressuring you into providing personal details or wiring or mailing payments. Scammers use fake names or phone numbers associated with government bodies in order to send counterfeit documents by U.S. mail, emails, texts, or social media direct messages containing images that appear legitimate as well as jargon that seems legit – to gain trust they create fake social media pages/accounts using images/jargon that appear legitimate.
DCWP offers tips on avoiding these and other scams, such as Charity Scams. To stay safe when shopping online, read How to Shop Safely Online and change all passwords of bank, credit card, and social media accounts that might have been compromised by scammers if necessary. Learn how to report a scam as well as more ways of protecting yourself by reading the Consumer Financial Protection Guide for Older Adults.
Reporting Cyber Crime
Digital transformation of the world has given criminals new avenues and threats. Cybercrime affects individuals, businesses, and national security through attacks like phishing, ransomware, data breaches, identity theft, and terrorism – with proper precautions and awareness, you can both safeguard yourself while helping authorities combat cybercrime.
First and foremost, report cybercrime as quickly as possible. You can file a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which accepts complaints from both victims and third parties alike. Furthermore, reach out to local law enforcement officials so an official record of your incident exists.
If the cybercrime occurred at work, you should notify your supervisor or I.T. department immediately to help investigate and prevent similar attacks on other employees. If an online threat occurred against you, create a timeline detailing its events to assist investigators in tracking down its perpetrator. Furthermore, save webpages on your computer so they aren’t deleted or altered as perpetrators attempt to cover up their activity by doing so.
Staying safe online requires maintaining current system software and antivirus programs, creating strong passwords for each account and changing them regularly, not opening attachments from unknown senders or visiting unfamiliar websites, not conducting financial transactions via public Wi-Fi networks, being wary about sharing personal information on social media and not providing sensitive details over the phone or via email.
If your identity or financial data has been stolen, immediately contact banks and credit card companies so they can place holds on accounts that have been compromised and close down any unauthorized charges. In addition, report it to IC3 (The FBI’s lead federal agency for investigating cyber attacks perpetrated by criminals or overseas adversaries). It’s also wise to say scams and suspicious activities to local law enforcement as they will best be equipped to investigate those crimes.
Reporting Tax Scams
Tax scams are all too prevalent during tax season, and people often lose millions to them. Criminals posing as IRS agents or other government employees to con victims into paying unneeded taxes, penalties, and fees. Common tax scams include phishing emails and websites, property lien scams, and false tax refund claims.
Phishing scams can be particularly hazardous during tax season as they can steal personal information from taxpayers. Such schemes typically use email or websites purporting to represent the IRS in order to persuade taxpayers to click a link that claims they’ll register or claim their refund, often using social media profiles with fake profiles to gather victim details unknowingly.
One of the most harmful tax scams involves criminals posing as IRS representatives and demanding immediate payment via specific payment methods such as wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or gift card. By contrast, when people owe money, they usually contact the IRS by mail instead of being asked to use untrustworthy payment mechanisms like wire transfers.
Criminals claiming to be from the Taxpayer Advocate Service – which assists taxpayers with complex problems – is another popular tax scam. For more information about it, the IRS provides a dedicated page regarding this matter, so any such calls should be reported immediately.
Identity thieves have developed an elaborate scam where criminals steal client data from tax professionals or directly from you, file fraudulent returns, deposit the refund into your bank account, and then contact you claiming that it was done so in error and demand you send it back immediately.
Another scam involves fraudulent letters purporting to come from the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement,” threatening to suspend or cancel your Social Security number unless a tax debt is paid off. While this tactic has long been around, its prevalence has recently increased with the proliferation of email phishing attacks. Criminals also use different aliases and phone numbers when reaching out to victims – be wary before giving out personal or financial details over the phone; verify caller I.D. first before answering calls from unknown numbers! Also, keep in mind that only authorized IRS collection agencies accept payments made by direct deposit or by check.
Phishing is an increasingly prevalent scam where criminals attempt to lure you into giving away personal data by sending an ostensible company email or text message with a fake-looking company logo, asking for login credentials or account details from you, and prompting you to visit a website that installs programs that give attackers access to your computer or network.
Scammers may impersonate your bank, Internet service provider, or charity that you support and use the information that they gather about you to steal money, compromise accounts, or steal identities. They frequently capitalize on seasonal issues or news events like natural disasters to give their attacks legitimacy and gain your trust by asking for data like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and banking passwords – information could include your credit card number, social security number, or banking passwords that contain confidential data that they could later use against you.
Do not trust anyone requesting your personal information over email, text message, or telephone call. Legitimate companies do not ask for sensitive data outside their official business processes, and it would be wise to be suspicious of any communication that claims it urgently needs it from you or urges immediate action on your part.
If you suspect an email to be part of a phishing attack, report it immediately to its sender so as to protect others from similar scams. Furthermore, contact all relevant financial institutions directly in order to make sure no one has gained access to any sensitive data belonging to them.
In the United States, you may contact either the Federal Trade Commission or the Anti-Phishing Working Group and file a complaint or submit a tip with them. For U.K. phishing websites specifically, the National Cyber Security Centre provides another avenue of complaint filing and removal.
Spammers use the internet to identify computers without updated security software, then download malware that allows them to take control of your device and steal usernames and passwords for future use against you, either to steal information or send advertisements that could potentially harm you or collect your usernames and passwords for unwanted spam emails. You can learn more about spam email standards, enforcement, and penalties by visiting the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act’s website.