A Defensive Computing Checklist
by Michael Horowitz
REPORTING FRAUD, SCAMS AND OTHER BAD STUFF
This section was expanded and renamed in January 2022 but it still needs to be greatly expanded. It could be a website all its own. Feel free to let me know of other places to report bad things.
- Gmail users can report spam to Google from within Gmail. Scams that came from a Gmail account, can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org or on this page. However, the page is so poorly done, it may have been abandoned.
- ProtonMail instructions are here: How to report phishing scams to Proton Mail's security team
- Scam emails that came from Hotmail or Outlook, can be reported to Microsoft at email@example.com. I did this in August 2023 when I got a scam message from
ben000 at live.com.au. Live.com is also Microsoft. They sent an auto-responder to acknowledge my complaint.
- Emails that pretend to be from a trusted organization for the purpose of stealing passwords or other personal information can be reported to Cisco PhishTank, SpamCop and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (registration is required) and Sophos.
- Report scam domains to Google Safe Browsing and Microsoft Smart Screen and Netcraft anti-Phishing. You can also submit it to Sophos at their Submit a Sample page in the Web Address section.
- If you are contacted by someone/something pretending to be Amazon, report it to Amazon here: Report Something Suspicious
- July 27, 2023: How Do I Report A Fake Facebook Account? by Leo A. Notenboom. There are too many steps to summarize here. Suffice it to say, the first step in the process is not at all obvious.
From this January 2023 Apple support article: Recognize and avoid phishing messages, phony support calls, and other scams
- A suspicious email that looks like it came from Apple: forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- A suspicious SMS text message that looks like it came from Apple: take a screenshot and email the screenshot to email@example.com
- To report spam or other suspicious emails that you receive in your iCloud.com, me.com, or mac.com Inbox, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
- To report spam or other suspicious messages that you receive through Messages, tap Report Junk under the message.
- In the US
- Report a scam, fraud, bad business practice by a company or an unwanted phone call to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Also tell the FTC if you paid a scammer using a cash app.
They claim to also accept gripes about Email and Text Messages but good luck figuring
out how, as there is no category for these. For ideas of what you might report to the FTC, see consumer.ftc.gov.
- The FTC also runs identitytheft.gov where you can report the identity theft
- Report Social Security scams to 800-269-0271 or secure.ssa.gov/ipff/home or oig.ssa.gov/report.
- Report IRS scams and fraud here: IRS Scams and Fraud
- The Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs runs the free National Elder Fraud Hotline, 833-372-8311 (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm ET). More here.
- Medicare has lots of scams so, in response, lots of reporting resources too. Call 1-800-MEDICARE to report a Medicare scam.
From Medicare: Reporting Medicare fraud & abuse.
Then too, there is Senior Medicare Patrol which has
a website for this and a phone number: 877-808-2468. And, visit ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
- You can call the AARP Fraud Watch Network at 877-908-3360 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm ET)
- Submit a complaint about a consumer financial product or service to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at www.consumerfinance.gov /complaint or call (855) 411-2372
- Unwanted phone calls can also be reported to complaints.donotcall.gov.
- The FCC has a Consumer Complaint Center that takes complaints about unwanted phone calls or texts from telemarketers. You can also gripe about your phone number being spoofed, blocked, or labeled as a spammer. Another link: Consumer Complaint Center.
- Victims of illegal activity involving a component of the Internet can file at the Internet Crime Complaint Center which is run by the FBI.
Any crime that used the Internet to communicate false or fraudulent representations to consumers qualifies, including websites, chat rooms, and/or email. Report fake job scams here.
See their Frequently Asked Questions.
- In the US and UK, most phone providers let you report a scam text
for free by forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM). Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile support this. On iOS: press and hold on the message bubble -> tap More -> Select the message you want to forward -> tap the arrow on the bottom right of the screen -> type 7726 and send. On Android: press and hold on the message bubble -> tap on the three vertical dots in the top right ->tap Forward -> enter 7726 and Send.
- Report a fake business listing on Google maps here
- Report Abusive Behavior on Twitter here. More on
their Safety and Security page.
- Chase Bank has instructions for reporting fraud, including scam emails that pretend to be from Chase.
- Report suspect messages from PayPal (email, text, whatever) to email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
- In the UK, see Phishing: Spot and report scam emails, texts, websites and calls from the National Cyber Security Center. Suspicious emails can be forwarded to the NCSC's Suspicious Email Reporting Service at email@example.com.
- In the UK, take a screenshot of a bad text message and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- From Instagram: How to Report Things and How do I report a post or profile on Instagram?
- How to Report spam texts on Android. From Google. No forwarding to 7726 needed.
- Amazon sells fake/counterfeit books and they have no interest in anyone reporting on it.
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