On-line fraud is growing and can be any type of scheme that uses the Internet.
Chat rooms, email, message boards, and websites are some examples of ways that may be used to deceive prospective victims. These schemes, scams and frauds take advantage of the Internet's unique capabilities of sending messages worldwide in seconds.
Fraudulent emails, appearing to be from a trusted source such as your bank, or a government agency, direct you to websites. Once there, you are asked to verify personal information such as name, account and credit card numbers and passwords. These sites are often designed look exactly like the site they are imitating.
Identity Theft Frauds
Internet fraudsters often use identity theft as a starting point for larger crimes. In one case, criminals obtained the names and social security numbers of military personnel then used them to apply to a bank over the Internet for credit cards. In another case, stolen personal data was used to submit car loan applications online.
The Internet is a great tool for information and to conduct on-line business, as long as consumers take appropriate precautions and are aware of the possibility that someone may be trying to scam them. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
The consumer information links below exist to assist customers in locating information and providing guidance on how to file complaints when appropriate.Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Response Center
You can file a complaint with the FTC against a company or organization that you believe has cheated you by contacting the Consumer Response Center by phone toll free 877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Internet Fraud Compliant Center (IFCC)
The IFCC's mission is to combat fraud committed over the Internet through a unique partnership between the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The IFCC website allows consumers to report Internet fraud, among other services. Consumer Fraud (DOJ/Homepage)
"Fraud" is a link on the Department of Justice's (DOJ) homepage under "Information for Individuals and Communities." FirstGov
"FirstGov" is a free-access website designed to give a centralized place to find information from local, state, and U.S. Government Agency websites. Consumers may call the toll-free number at 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636). Consumer.gov
"Consumer.gov" is a one-stop link to a broad range of federal information resources available online. Social Security Administration
Report a Fraud: 800-269-0271 Identity Theft Resource Center
Help 9-1-1 Keep Your Family Safe
Smart911 is a free national service provided to you by your local 9-1-1 agency. By creating a Safety Profile for your household that includes the vital personal and medical information you would want response teams to have in the event of an emergency, your profile is immediately available should you have the need to dial 9-1-1. This allows call takers and first responders to assist you faster and more effectively.
Your family's profile information is completely private and secure. The details you enter on the secure and protected website are only shared with 9-1-1 dispatchers and first responders in the field, and only when you or your family members dial 9-1-1.
Create your Safety Profile or learn more at www.smart911.com.
Visit www.consumer.ftc.gov for consumer information and resources on a variety of topics such as: Money and Credit, Homes and Mortgages, Health and Fitness, Jobs and Making Money or Privacy and Identity.
Money Smart - A Financial Education Program
Financial education fosters financial stability for individuals, families, and entire communities. The more people know about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to increase savings, buy homes, and improve their financial health and well-being. The FDIC offers Money Smart - A Financial Education Program for Adults, Young Adults and/or Small Business. The curriculum is available in English and Spanish. Visit the following link to learn more: www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/index.html.