I will show you how to report a scammer if you believe you are being scammed. There are currently numerous ways to report scams to the authorities and help prevent others from being scammed in the future. On this page, I will show you how to report scams, report a phishing website and show information about keeping safe online.
- 1 Email Scams and Data Breaches
- 2 How To Report Email Scam
- 3 Reporting Scam and Phishing Emails to Authorities
- 4 Report Scam or Spam Text Messages
- 5 Report A Phishing Website
Email Scams and Data Breaches
Scams and fraud are on the rise and most people will probably get scams on a daily basis. If you receive a lot of scam emails it would indicate that your email is on a list somewhere on the internet. Data leaks are common and I myself have had two email addresses leaked in the past.
Anyone who receives numerous scam emails should input their email address into the Have I Been Pwned Website. It’s a very good resource to check whether your email address or password has been involved in a data breach at any point. Have I Been Pwned will instantly notify you of any breaches after inputting your email address into the website.
If your email address shows that it has been breached in the past, the easiest way to stop the scam emails is to open a brand new email address. Another option could be blocking the scammer’s email address but typically the fraudsters will easily open another email and continue to spam you.
How To Report Email Scam
Luckily we have numerous options for where to report an email scam. The first point of action should be reporting the email scam directly to the email providers. Microsoft, Google and other email providers all have easy reporting tools inside your email account.
Report Scam To Microsoft (Email)
Phishing scams can easily be reported to Microsoft directly by opening the email and selecting report phishing from the top menu. Microsoft will then analyse the phishing or scam email for investigation.
Report Scam Email Gmail
If you are a Gmail user you can report any suspicious emails directly to Google. Open the email that you suspect may be a phishing email or scam. Select the options icon from the left menu and choose report phishing or report spam.
Reporting Scams and Phishing emails directly to email providers can stop others from being scammed by the same emails.
Reporting Scam and Phishing Emails to Authorities
The National Cyber Security Centre based in the United Kingdom has an email address to which any suspicious emails can be forwarded. The NCSC work with email providers and have the resources to prevent scammers from sending further emails from that email address.
If you have received an email that you think is suspicious forward it to [email protected] for analysis. Users can send as many emails as they want even if they are unsure if it could be a scam or phishing attempt.
NCSC is not limited to UK users, anyone can forward an email to them regardless of where you are located. Any suspicious emails that have links included in them should not be clicked.
The USA government website has several reporting tools to report the different types of scams online. Information on the website covers everything from housing scams to tax fraud. The FBI site has lots of valuable information to help keep users safe whilst browsing online.
Australian residents can report scams to Scamwatch online which is the government’s main source for scam information and reporting. Scamwatch has some accurate info on different types of scams being used now and historically.
Report Scam or Spam Text Messages
Mobile phone scams and spam messages can be annoying if you get several messages every day. One option available is to simply block the senders using the mobile phone blocking options.
Text messages can additionally be reported to your mobile phone network provider if required. Network providers have the option to investigate the sender of the text message and block or ban the sender if it is thought to be malicious.
- UK Residents – can forward any suspicious text messages to 7726 free of charge.
- USA Residents – can send any unwanted text messages to 7726 (SPAM)
- Canadian Residents – have the option to contact the Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1‑888-495-8501
- Australian Residents – forward any SMS or MMS to 0429 999 888 (Standard message rates apply)
The above options are the easiest for reporting unwanted text messages. Online reporting tools are available on law enforcement websites in most countries but will take longer to report.
Report A Phishing Website
Reporting phishing websites is important to have them taken offline faster. In my experience, reporting phishing websites to the hosting provider takes far too long and a lot of hosts don’t really care.
By reporting phishing websites to the authorities, they are taken offline a lot faster. Hosting providers take more notice from law enforcement rather than myself or you for example. Numerous tools exist for reporting phishing websites on various law enforcement websites.
I would not expect a response or any updates once you have submitted a phishing report, the sheer number of reports they receive on a daily basis is overwhelming.
To report a phishing website navigate to the following sites:
- NCSC (UK) – https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/about-this-website/report-scam-website
- FBI (USA) – https://www.ic3.gov/
- Anti-Fraud Centre (Canada) – https://antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/report-signalez-eng.htm#a1a
- Scamwatch (Australia) – https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam
Report a Phishing Website to Search Engines
By reporting a phishing website to the main search engines you can help others from being scammed on a fake website. The main search engines will analyse the links before putting up a warning visible to anyone that visits the phishing website.
Report a Phishing Website To Google
Google is the biggest search engine and arguably the best on the market. To report a phishing website to google navigate to the safe browsing phishing page reporting tool. Google are typically the fastest for putting up an alert or warning once the fake website has been reported to them.
Report a Phishing Website to Microsoft (Bing)
Microsoft is one of the biggest search engines available on the internet. Microsoft Security Intelligence is set up to help keep our internet safe against rising fraud and scams. To report a phishing website to Microsoft follow this link to report the unsafe site.
Report a Phishing Website to Yandex
Yandex is a search engine aimed at the Russian market. Yandex has an online reporting tool that allows users to report a phishing website to them for analysis. Yandex reporting can be found online here.
Report a Scammer – Conclusion
How to report a scammer could not be any easier, although it may seem like a waste of time. By reporting different scams and phishing attempts you are helping prevent others from being scammed.
The most effective way of reporting scams is to the authorities. In the past, I found they quickly remove phishing websites in a day or two. Hosting providers take a lot more notice from law enforcement when it comes to cybercrime. In the early days, I used to report fake websites directly to the hosting providers myself but found they take little action if any.
Law enforcement can also have email addresses blocked or banned which stops the scammer from sending any further emails from a particular email address. Of course, the scammer can easily open another email address but it does waste the scammer’s time and will prevent any victims from being scammed at that point.
Further Reading – Scams and Phishing Examples
If this article has helped you please take a look at our Scam and Phishing categories for current and past examples. Every example on our website has been a scam or phishing attempt aimed at me and the purpose of this website is to bring awareness to others and prevent them from being scammed.