How To Report Email Fraud & Spam To Authorities
A few months ago, I did an article about popular types of email fraud and spam . Well today I want to take a look at how to act on some of the more serious scams and how to report email fraud that we all get in our inboxes regularly.
Unfortunately, even though the Internet is worldwide there is no real organisation which will deal with small, individual cases at an international level. That is left to national and local levels.
In this article I will show you some of the most popular agencies to contact depending on your location and other avenues to explore when you report email fraud.
United States Of America & Canada
Given its population, hi-tech lifestyle and global position, the US and its citizens are often the prime targets for scammers and fraudsters, often based far away in countries such as Nigeria, which has become popular for its email scams as discussed in my previous post.
The FBI and FTC are two agencies you should forward any suspicious emails onto which you think may be frauds or just threats to security in general. Uce@ftc.gov is the email address. The FBI also runs a collaboration with the National White Collar Crime Centre and the Bureau of Justice Assistance to form IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Centre). You can report Internet and email fraud there.
In Canada, concerned users can contact the Better Business Bureau (for corporate claims) and their local police for other scams.
Europe is quite similar as a target for scammers as again, it’s wealthy, powerful and home to dozens of different police districts and nations which makes stopping scams even harder. Each nation has different agencies which you can contact. Some of the most popular are listed below.
- Norway – Police Economic Crime Unit
- UK – Office of Fair Trading and Metropolitan Police
- Ireland – Garda SiochÃ¡na Bureau of Fraud Investigation
- Germany – Daten Schutz
- Netherlands – Spam Vrij
- Belgium – FGov.be
- Denmark – Fs.dk
For all other countries without specific fraud investigative units (or those I couldn’t find due to the language barrier) you should log on to your nation’s police force website for more information.
There are also plenty of Chinese email scams circulating such as fake online stores which send out catalogue emails as well as some 419 scams. Here are a list of some of the bigger countries in the region as well as information about where to forward or report email fraud.
China – Anti-Spam Organisation or CCert
Hong Kong – OFTA
South Korea – Spam Cop and
Australia – Australia Scamwatch and ACMA SPAM Reporting Service
Alternative Reporting Methods
There are two other ways in which you can report spam and fraudulent emails in order to help win the battle against these scammers. Seeing as many scams try to affiliate themselves with, or impersonate a company, it’s wise to forward any such emails to the company in question.
Most large businesses will have special divisions set up to deal with these kinds of claims and will have information available on their website. A good example is PayPal who frequently have fraudsters impersonating them in emails and as such have set up an anti-fraud department.
Also, some scammers will target banks or government institutions. I remember one case recently in my country when a fraudulent email circulated impersonating the national tax revenue office trying to scam people. These kinds of emails should be reported at once as they can often rob businesses of sensitive information or even rob their money.
Another way of reporting email fraud is to inform the scammers ISP or email provider what their services are being used for. Seeing as many email providers (especially Hotmail and Gmail) have been targeted by hackers and scammers themselves, they don’t take lightly to people or “˜bots’ using hoax accounts set up on their servers to circulate fraud emails. You will be able to find exact contact details for their provider on their website (here’s Gmail’s).
Until we have cleansed the world of scammers, we must rely on PC security programs and our own wits to stop ourselves being scammed. For more information on how these reported emails are dealt with on an international level, I recommend checking out this section on Interpol’s website [No Longer Available].
How have you been able to deal with email spam? Do you just ignore it or do you report it? What experiences have you had when you reported it? Let us know in the comments.