(WXIN/WTTV) — A new US government website is making it easier to report scams to the best office or agency to handle them.
Security experts are constantly urging consumers to report scams when they encounter them. However, there are many different kinds of scams and many different places to report them.
If you’re dealing with a phone scam, you could report it to the FTC, the FCC, or the FBI. But which is the best place to start? If it’s a banking or credit card scam, should you go to the FTC or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Or, is the Better Business Bureau the best place to start if it involves a shady business?
A new web tool on USA.gov is streamlining the process and pointing you in the right direction. When you visit the website, you’ll see an option that says “where to report a scam.” When you click on that, it starts asking questions about the scam you’ve encountered. For example, if you click on “Banking,” it takes you to more specific categories, like “fake check” or “phishing.” If you pick “phishing,” you’ll see you need to report this scam to the FTC and the Anti-Phishing Workshop Group.
It also provides you with the email addresses and phone numbers you need to report your situation.
For an identity theft scam involving Medicare or Medicaid, it only takes a couple of clicks to see; you need to report it to the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General Hotline and the FBI.
If your scam doesn’t fit any of the answers on the website, each category also has an “other” option, which defaults to the FTC as the best place to report it.
In addition to guiding reporting scams, the website also includes tips on how to avoid each kind of scam after it shows you where to report yours.