HOW TO REPORT INTERNET FRAUD AND SCAMS
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
/ HOW TO REPORT ATTEMPTS OF THESE CRIMES
INTERNET / EMAIL / WEB SITE SCAMS
If the scam came by
snail-mail or email, file a
FRAUD REPORT with the US Post office:
www.FakeChecks.org – to learn how to
spot scams involving fake checks mailed to you
http://www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com – for a great site exposing all sorts of
PHONE CALL SCAMS
If a phone call you received seems like a scam:
Record the conversation with a digital "tape"
Use "Audacity" Recording utility for PCs
Use "VirtualRecorder" for Android devices:
You can use
to make large audio or digital photograph files available to law enforcement by
merely sending them a link to your
folder via email
RECORDING A PHONE CALL IS NOT ILLEGAL
AS LONG AS ONE PARTY TO THE CONVERSATION (YOU)
IS AWARE OF THE RECORDING BEING MADE. MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONFUSED BY ILLEGAL
WIRETAPS, WHICH ARE DONE BY A THIRD PARTY, AND WHERE NONE OF THE PARTIES TO THE
CONVERSATION ARE AWARE OF THE RECORDING.
WIRETAPS ARE ILLEGAL WITHOUT A WARRANT.
Who should I
notify about fraud or scam attempts?
Report Phishing scams by forwarding
Phishing emails to: to email@example.com.
File a report with the Internet Crime
Complaint Center of the FBI (http://www.IC3.gov)
File a report with your local police
FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP
FTC online complaint form (http://www.ftc.gov)
Contact the National Consumers
League at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Phone Busters hotline: 888-495-8501
Non-emergency number for your local police
department - file a complaint with local police.
Phishers of Men want to
clone your identity and access your bank accounts. Don't answer those "Bank Security
Update" or "Paypal Account Verification" emails, and don't give out personal
information to "lottery" fraudsters!
Don't email copies of your handwriting or
signature. If you have already done so, you should talk to your bank / credit
card company as soon as possible and explain that you are a potential fraud
should forward a copy of any suspicious email
PayPal™ that asks you to "verify" a bank
account, or asks you for a bank account number, password, Social Security
Number, or mother's maiden name to:
spoof@PayPal.com If the communication comes from eBay,
then forward it to" email@example.com
Report the scammer /
spammer to their email service provider. Just FORWARD the email to the provider
by using abuse@<name
of provider> i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org
Most email providers have "catch-all" email accounts that receive any email
directed at their domain. Please note
that some spammers try to circumvent this process by having you "contact my
secretary" who is at a separate email account than the one being used to send
you the message. This is done for TWO reasons, primarily:
1) The email account used to
send you the message is a hijacked email client owned by an innocent party who
has a Trojan on his / her PC that the scammer is using to send the emails with.
2) Most reports of
abuse will report the sending email address, which leaves the "secretary" email
address unreported. If you notice this, report BOTH the sending email address
AND the "secretary" email address to their respective email providers in
addition to reporting them to law enforcement.
TO VISIT BEFORE YOU ACT on something that sounds too good to be true:
Think the Better Business Bureau protects
you? BBB is BOUGHT AND PAID FOR – Their reports are unreliable, and often based
on whether a business is a paying member of the BBB.
http://www.data-wales.co.uk/nigerian.htm Data Wales – fraud advisory
http://www.lifelock.com – Protect yourself from scams
http://ripoffreport.com Rip-Off Report – watchdog (RipoffReport
is itself, a rip-off), but is a good way to harass those who have been
harassing you, because they NEVER remove your report.
Getting unsolicited email from Nigeria?
http://www.data-wales.co.uk/nigerian.htm - List of known scams from Nigeria.
http://www.data-wales.co.uk/nigerian_lottery.htm - Nigerian Lottery scam.
For many years Nigerian
criminals have targeted people around the world with stories about liberating
millions of dollars, once the property of a toppled
dictator or a deceased expatriate. They used to fax but they have now
discovered email, and can reach more potential marks. As ridiculous as these
approaches seem, innocent (STUPID) people occasionally fall for them. They
sometimes end up meeting a Nigerian in a plush hotel.
He explains that, in order to liberate the supposed millions, the mark must pay
a commission fee up front. Needless to say, the Nigerian uses a false identity
and the commission fee is lost forever. American
sources warn of the danger of accepting any invitation to visit Nigeria offered
by these villains. They have been known to manufacture exit problems so that
the mark can be pressured to hand over money as a
condition of being allowed to leave Nigeria. Never let these people have
your bank account and personal contact details. Do not send copies of your
passport and signature etc. As well as trying to fool you into paying an advance
fee, they will use your personal information to clone your identity and try to
access your accounts (or use your identity in a credit card fraud).
What can you do to make
life difficult for the criminals? It would be good to get their email accounts
suspended. Just take a look at the "reply to" address within the scam mail. This
would be something like
email@example.com (from a 419 mail of Nov. '04). Forward the junk to the
service provider, with Internet headers, using the address
firstname.lastname@example.org (for this example).
In the subject line, put "criminal abuse" and the offending email address. Ask
the service provider to immediately suspend the abuser's mail account. Also
notice if a different email address is used or referenced in the text of the
message as a "contact" or "secretary". Forward the scam email to THAT email
service provider as well.
On the subject of ISPs, I believe that
those who do not shut down these accounts, once they have been made aware of
criminal activity, share in the guilt. Readers should be
aware of zwallet.com,
an ISP registered in the Philippines and which seems to extend mail services to
many criminals. Latinmail.com
is also popular with the criminals.
As of May '06, please
be suspicious of any mail with a
If you need to send law
enforcement suspicious mail for
examination, please be sure to forward it complete with its Internet headers. If
you are not sure how to do this, check the help file of your mail software; see
the note below or visit
www.haltabuse.org/help/headers/ for instructions on revealing headers in
email. Also forward the forged documents that accompany these scams. Note: It is not always possible to respond to reports of
fraud mail, but appropriate action is always taken.
You will not normally see full headers when you read your mail but these can be
important in investigating Internet fraud.
Express for Windows: Right click on the message and select Properties.
Choose the Details tab and select the Message Source Button. Copy the headers
and send them along with the body of the email.
Right-Click the message and select Options. You should see a pop up window "Message
options" or similar. Notice the box called Internet headers near the bottom of
the window. This box contains the full headers. To extract the contents, put
your mouse pointer in the box and right-click then choose Select All. All the
text in the box will then be highlighted. Right-click in the box again and this time
choose Copy to copy the selected contents to the clipboard. You can then paste
the full headers to an email you may be forwarding. .
4.7 - 6: Open the email; go to the view menu; pull the 'Headers' menu
over and click on 'all'. Highlight the message and headers displayed in the
email and copy them into the email you send to us.
6.2 and higher: Go to Netscape Messenger Inbox. Select View - Headers -
All. Highlight the message and headers displayed in the email and copy them into
the email you send to us.
In your mail program double click the email you would like to view, when it is
open click on the FILE menu and choose PROPERTIES. When in the properties menu
click on the DETAILS tab to view the Full Headers.
Users of the excellent Pegasus for Windows will probably not need me to remind
them of the Raw View tab and the option to include headers in the Reply and
WEB MAIL HEADERS
Yahoo web mail:
First you must turn on "Full Headers". From your Yahoo! mail account, click on
"Mail Preference". Scroll down the page to "Message Headers" and click on the
"all" radio button. Save your preferences at the bottom of the page.
First, configure your options: On the upper right "Options | Help" links, click
on "Options." Click on the "Mail Display Settings" link, find the item "Message
Headers." Choose "Advanced" and click the "OK" button.