How To Report A Scam

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,932
    Consumer activist Tom Antion explains how to report a consumer scam.

    Tom Antion: Hi! I am Tom Antion. Today, I am going to discuss what to do if you've been scammed. People who have no intention of delivering what is sold, who misrepresent items, send counterfeit goods or otherwise try to trick you out of your money are committing fraud.

    If you've been scammed, contact your state and local consumer protection agencies. These agencies may take action themselves or refer you to another state organization that has the authority where you live. You should also contact a local law enforcement officer and tell them what happened. Violations of federal law should be reported to the federal agency responsible for enforcement, and the federal trade commission. While federal agencies are rarely able to act on behalf of individual consumers, complaints are used to document patterns of abuse allowing the agency to take action against the company.

    If the scam against you use the mail, it should also be reported to the tough US postal inspection service. In addition, you should report what happened to your local Better Business Bureau along with as many online scam reporting sites as you can find.

    Another great thing is using publicity. Scammers hate publicity. Contact your local TV stations who usually have consumer investigative reporters to shed a giant spotlight on fraud in their community. If the scam wasn't local, contact to the investigative reporters of major city newspapers; the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, they all have powerful investigative teams.

    For internet scams, you can report to IC3.

    gov which is a collaboration between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. If you feel threatened by a scammer, immediately contact local law enforcement for assistance or call 911. Reporting fraud promptly improves your chances of recovering what you've lost and helps law enforcement authority stop scams before others are victimized.