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FTC: “Fight The Cybercrooks!”

Warning: Scam Alert

If consumers are going to reduce the impact of scams, they need to come together to fight the cybercrooks. That is why reporting ALL cybercrimes and scams to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is so important.

Cybercrimes continue to be a significant problem for individuals and businesses in the United States and globally.

The FBI reported that U.S. citizens lost $12.5 billion to cybercrime in 2023, much more than the year before. Also, consumers in the U.S. reported losing $10 billion to scams in 2023*. That marks the highest losses the FTC has ever reported and $1 million more than the previous year.

Experts agree that increasing awareness of scams and fraud—knowing the different types and how to spot and avoid them—is the first step in lowering your risk. However, just as important but rarely talked about is what you should do if you are a victim of a scam.

Report it to the Federal Trade Commission, which is as simple as clicking this link:

Reportfraud.ftc.gov/assistant


Fighting for You: The Federal Trade Commission

In the United States, victims of scams and consumer fraud can seek assistance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by visiting FTC.gov or calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

Federal Trade Commission - Report Fraud

You’ll quickly realize that the FTC offers a wealth of information and a source of information and protection for you and all consumers in the U.S.

  • ReportFraud.ftc.gov is the United States federal government website where you can report scams and bad business practices.
  • Visit consumer.ftc.gov to find tips and learn how to avoid scams.

You don’t have to be a scam victim (meaning you lost money) to report a scam to the FTC. They will gather your information and add it to their database of scam attempts and scam victims.

Most importantly, you are helping to protect your community every time you report fraud, a scam, and bad business practices you experience.

They want you to report all types of problems, so there is no reason not to report your problem. Here’s what their list of scams looks like on ReportFraud.ftc.gov:

  • An impersonator
  • Online shopping
  • Job, investment, money-making opportunity
  • Sweepstakes, prize, lottery
  • Phone, internet, TV service
  • Auto sale, repair
  • Credit, debt, loan
  • Annoying or persistent sales call
  • Something else

How the FTC fights the cybercrooks.

The FTC investigates complaints, shares information with law enforcement, and brings cases against fraud, scams, and bad business practices.

  1. You can contact the FTC to report a scam, a company you think is disreputable, or even an annoying sales call.
  2. The FTC will take your reports and advise you regarding the steps you can and should take to protect yourself.
  3. As you take those important steps, the FTC shares your information with law enforcement and other partners to aid their investigations.

The FTC says they share their reports with nearly 2,800 law enforcers. They also use your reports to “investigate and bring cases against fraud, scams, and bad business practices.”

Report to help fight fraud

On the job for you, the consumer:

The FTC is the nation’s consumer protection agency. Under the FTC Act, it collects reports from citizens and other sources regarding companies, business practices, and identity theft. The agency is also guided and bound by specific laws it enforces or administers.

That’s why they need U.S. consumers to report every instance of fraud, scams, and unfair or illegal business practices.

  • The FTC enters the reports it receives into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database used by civil and criminal law enforcement authorities worldwide.
  • It is important to know that the FTC does not strive to solve any one individual’s report of a crime. Instead, it analyzes and aggregates all the consumer complaints of wrongdoing and compiles extensive reports.
  • The reports consumers file with the FTC detect patterns of wrongdoing that lead to investigations. Those investigations can help identify and track down bad actors and lead to prosecutions.

Share as much information as you wish.

Privacy is important to you and the Federal Trade Commission. However, they do respect your privacy;  how much personal information you divulge to them is your decision.

Report all scams to the FTC

That’s a key point; in pursuit of criminals and justice, they may share the details of some reports and select information with law enforcement agencies and organizations that fight fraud. The information may also be used in court or administrative proceedings if required as part of a legal process. Your report is official and valuable to the fight against scams and fraud.

Follow the Easy Prey podcast and fight the cybercrooks.

Follow the EasyPrey podcast to listen to experts provide insights on avoiding scams and fraud and staying safe offline and online. Chris Parker, CEO of WhatIsMyIPAddress.com, hosts the podcast.

*According to the Consumer Sentinel Data Book.

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