Knowing you have been scammed is always difficult… but we have a HUGE list at the bottom of the page to report the scammer to the proper authorities.
First of all don’t despair! You can check out our handy guide on how to handle things ‘post-scam’: I have been scammed; what now?
But in this article we will focus on who you should contact to report a scam and how to make sure you have the best possibility to stop the scammers!
How to collect evidence of the scam
The following steps are adapted from Jennifer Mueller’s article at wikiHow:
Step 1: Write down the order of events.
When you’ve been scammed, the process leading up to this point can be weeks or months, involving email communication, payment, delivery etc. It can be helpful to sit down and think through the order of what has led to the scam itself. Below is an example:
- Saw an advertisement on Instagram for shoes
- Clicked the advertisements and ordered a pair of shoes on the site
- Received a tracking email from the company
- The delivery date was missed
- Emailed the company on <date>
- Never received a reply
- Emailed twice more on <dates>
- Complained to my bank and the amount was refunded to my account <date>
It might sound like a simple exercise, but this allows you to collect as much relevant information as possible which may be useful when reporting a scam. It can also help you identify the best parties to get in contact with (In this case the social media platform could also be contacted to help them remove the online store if it is a scam).
Step 2: Keep copies of online locations and online files/documents related to the scam
This is a important step and can include the collection of the following:
- Source code of relevant websites
- Electronic files,
- Save relevant webpages (incase the scammer shuts the site down)
- Take screenshots of online evidence that is hard to save.
Step 3: Collect non-electronic evidence related to the scam
If you have purchased a product or service, often there will be evidence such as receipts, bank statements etc. that can be useful. It’s better to be overly cautious when collecting this, as even the smallest thing can help authorities identify and track down the scammer!
Where can I report a scammer?
That might sound simple, but with the global nature of the internet often the victims, criminal and the goods can be in three different locations. (However if you have been threatened by the scammer, our advice would be to contact local law enforcement immediately).
So at Scamadviser we’ve put together a handy guide on agencies you can contact in order to report an online scam. We’ve ordered it by country/region to help you find the most relevant organizations!
- Econsumer.gov allows you to press charges against and help to identify international scam schemes.
- About Fraud is a global community for fraud professionals.
- Europol supports EU members in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime.
- Merchant Risk Council is a network of over 550+ companies focused on fraud prevention, payments optimization and risk management.
- Local Police can help you in case you or the scam is originating from Belgium.
- Consumer Protection Ontario will assist you on how to spot common consumer or financial scams, and how to report it as well as help if you have been scammed.
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is Canada's main agency collecting information and criminal intelligence on matters such as marketing fraud, advance fee fraud, Internet fraud...
- Guanjia is free Tencent security management software. Through this website, you can as well report fraudulent websites.
- The Cypriot Police – Online form / Tel: +357 22808200, +357 22808461 - is the authority to communicate with in case of Cypriot-based online scam or fraudulent website.
- The Danish authority to talk to in case of scam is the Danish police, here is the Police website.
- Contact of the Estonian Police in case of scam or fraud.
- If you are facing a scam you think is Irish-based, you can take contact with the Irish National police – English and Gaeilge.
- FraudSmart is a fraud awareness initiative aiming at raising consumer and business awareness of the latest financial fraud activity and trends.
- Malta has a Government website you can communicate with in Malti and English in case of scam or fraud based in Malta.
- The New Zealand Consumer Protection association is accessible hereby.
- Netsafe is New Zealand's independent, non-profit online safety organisation to communicate with in case of Scams, Bullying, Abuse.
- CERT NZ takes care of responding to cyber security threats in New Zealand (in case of Cyber Security Issues).
- ScamAlert is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting public awareness and concern about crime.
- You can contact the Policia Nacional in case of scam, fraud or crime involving Spain.
- The Slovenian Police can be contacted through this website in case of scam or fraud from Slovenia.
- Action Fraud is the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.
- Citizens Advice Consumer Service give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward, whoever they are and whatever their problem.
- Financial Fraud Action (FFA) is responsible for leading the collective fight against financial fraud on behalf of the UK payments industry.
- Get Safe Online is the UK's leading source of unbiased, factual and easy information on online safety.
The United States Department of Justice has stated the following when it comes to different kinds of online crimes/scams (as of publication).
Computer Intrusion (i.e. hacking)
Child Pornography or Exploitation
Internet fraud and SPAM
Other resources include:
Think there is an organisation or contact that is missing from this list? Please contact us !