Iíve Spotted an Online Scam! Now What?

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Offline faith_michele

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Iíve Spotted an Online Scam! Now What?
« on: September 26, 2009, 07:57:35 AM »
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Iíve Spotted an Online Scam! Now What?

by Tony Bradley, 20 September 2009

What do you do if youíve spotted an online scam or fraudulent activity, like a phishing message? Online security company, Lavasoft, has put together the list, below, of initial steps you can take to report the scam, in order to warn others and keep the unwary from getting duped. Take a look Ė your report might help someone else from becoming the next victim.

* First, report phishing ploys to the companies or organizations that are being imitated. Many organizations have details on their website on how to report these kinds of problems.

* You have the option to report phishing to the Anti-Phishing Working Group by sending a message to reportphishing@ antiphishing.org; itís a global pan-industrial and law enforcement association which focuses on eliminating the fraud and identity theft that results from phishing, pharming, and e-mail spoofing. You can also report phishing to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team by sending a message to phishing-report@ us-cert.gov; it works with state and local government in the U.S. as well as industry and international partners to address key cyber security issues and to distribute information to the public.

* If you believe a charity or business is fraudulent, you can file a complaint with local authorities and notify watchdog organizations, like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), of a potential scam. While the BBB does not have legal or policing powers, it does provide information about marketplace fraud through scam reports to the public, media releases and alerts.

*  You can report criminal issues to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, where complaints are reported, reviewed, and then referred to an appropriate federal, state, local or international law enforcement agency. More information is available on the IC3 website, http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.

* If youíre located in the United States, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, the countryís consumer protection agency. If you think that the ploy that youíve encountered is being distributed internationally, you can report it to eConsumer.gov, http://www.econsumer.gov/english/home.shtm, a portal for consumers to report cross-border scams and complaints of online transactions with foreign companies. If youíre located within the European Union, you can check the InSafe website, http://www.saferinternet.org/ww/en/pub/insafe/focus.htm, a network of national nodes that coordinates Internet safety awareness in Europe, for points of contact within your country.

Please keep in mind: depending on the part of the world that you are located in and the type of online crime involved, there are more specific methods available to you; just like real-world crime, cyber crimes should be reported to local, federal or international authorities, depending on the scope of the fraud or crime involved. Find out in advance where to report cyber crimes in your area or in your language so that youíre prepared for what you may encounter online. For example, U.S. citizens can find cyber crime reporting resources on the U.S. Department of Justice website, http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/reporting.htm and can find additional information on filing various Internet-related complaints on the OnGuardOnline website, http://www.onguardonline.gov/file-complaint.aspx.

Contributed by Erin Earley at Lavasoft

http://www.tonybradley.com/2009/09/ive-spotted-an-online-scam-now-what/
Microsoft Consumer Security MVP, July 2007-June 2010

"Fight your fights, find the grace in all the things that you can't change and help somebody, if you can." Van Zant

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