If You Think Youve Been A Victim Of An Online Scam Or Fraud
Contact Action Fraud if you think youve lost money or been hacked because of an online scam or fraud and youre in England or Wales. You can:
- report online – either sign up for an account or continue as a guest
If youre in Scotland and youve lost money because of an online scam or fraud, report the crime to Police Scotland.
What To Do If You Responded To A Phishing Email
If you think a scammer has your information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, go to IdentityTheft.gov. There youll see the specific steps to take based on the information that you lost.
If you think you clicked on a link or opened an attachment that downloaded harmful software, update your computers security software. Then run a scan.
Report Scams To Third Parties
You may want to report the scam to organizations outside of the government. Third parties may be able to get your money back or remove fraudulent charges.
Report a scam that happened with an online seller or a payment transfer system to the companys fraud department.
If you used your credit card or bank account to pay a scammer, report it to the card issuer or bank. Also report scams to the major credit reporting agencies. Place a fraud alert on your credit report to prevent someone from opening credit accounts in your name.
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If You’re Prompted To Download Software
Use extreme caution if you download content from the internet. Some downloads found on the internet may not contain the software they claim to, or may contain software that you didn’t expect or want. This includes apps that ask to install configuration profiles that can then control your device. If installed, unknown or unwanted software may become intrusive and annoying and could even damage your Mac and steal your data.
To avoid unwanted, fake, or malicious software, install software from the App Store or get it directly from the developer’s website. Learn how to safely open software on your Mac or remove unwanted configuration profiles from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
1. If you forward a message from Mail on your Mac, include the header information by selecting the message and choosing Forward As Attachment from the Message menu.
2. To confirm the destination of a link on your Mac, hover your pointer over the link to see the URL. If you can’t see the URL in the status bar in Safari, choose View > Show Status Bar. On your iOS device, you can touch and hold the link.
Reporting Spam Using 3rd Party Email Apps
If you would prefer to report spam Shaw through your 3rd party email app:
Viewing email headers will vary for each 3rd party email app, though generally found in settings or properties. Please see support on your chosen app for more.
For links to the support pages for popular email apps, read How To: Set up your Shaw email.
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Four Steps To Protect Yourself From Phishing
1. Protect your computer by using security software. Set the software to update automatically so it can deal with any new security threats.
2. Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically. These updates could give you critical protection against security threats.
3. Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication. Some accounts offer extra security by requiring two or more credentials to log in to your account. This is called multi-factor authentication. The additional credentials you need to log in to your account fall into two categories:
- Something you have like a passcode you get via an authentication app or a security key.
- Something you are like a scan of your fingerprint, your retina, or your face.
Multi-factor authentication makes it harder for scammers to log in to your accounts if they do get your username and password.
4. Protect your data by backing it up.Back up your data and make sure those backups arent connected to your home network. You can copy your computer files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. Back up the data on your phone, too.
How To Protect Your Computer
The same advice parents might deliver to young drivers on their first solo journey applies to everyone who wants to navigate safely online. A special agent in our Cyber Division offered the following:
- Dont drive in bad neighborhoods.
- If you dont lock your car, its vulnerable if you dont secure your computer, its vulnerable.
- Reduce your vulnerability, and you reduce the threat.
Below are some key steps to protecting your computer from intrusion:
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How To Report Scam Emails: Must
If you have ever been the target of email scams, then you know how hard it can be to handle, and you might have wondered how to report scam emails. Whether you are lured in by an innocent-looking message from an impersonated staff member or whether you click the wrong link in an otherwise innocuous email, it can be tough to keep yourself safe all the time.
As emails become more and more of the gold standard for modern communication, so too do online predators turn to scam emails as a common way to penetrate cybersecurity. If you would like to learn about how to report scam emails in an attempt to stop future scams, read on!
This article belongs to a series that also educates you on:
But lets start with finding out how to report scam emails.
How To Stop Spam Emails Without An Unsubscribe Link
Spam is the second type of email that doesnt provide a way to unsubscribe. You did not give the sender permission to send these messages. This is the main difference between spammers and the companies we mentioned above.
Spammers collect email addresses in different ways:
- certain websites, such as blogs and forums, where email addresses remain exposed
- companies that sell email lists
- malware, phishing programs, etc.
- random email address generators
Spammers are not interested in giving you an unsubscribe link, so it is left up to you to stop spam emails on your own.
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What Do You Need To Know Before You Begin
For the best user submission experience, use the Report Message add-in or the Report Phishing add-in.
The Report Message add-in and the Report Phishing add-in work for Outlook in all platforms .
If you’re an admin in an organization with Exchange Online mailboxes, use the Submissions portal in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal. For more information, see Use Admin Submission to submit suspected spam, phish, URLs, and files to Microsoft.
You can configure to send messages directly to Microsoft, a mailbox you specify, or both. For more information, see User submissions policies.
For more information about reporting messages to Microsoft, see Report messages and files to Microsoft.
Fake Websites And Other Internet Scams
If you need to apply for an eTA, be careful when you deal with companies that claim to offer help to get one. These companies are not working with the Government of Canada. Many have websites that charge a fee for information and submitting eTA applications.
This Government of Canada website is the official place to apply for an eTA.
Its easy for criminals to copy a real website or build one that looks professional. Websites may claim to be official Government of Canada sites or their partners. Others may claim to offer special immigration deals or guaranteed high-paying jobs. They do this to trick people into paying them money.
Some of these sites may try to get you to give them your private information. This could be used to steal your identity.
Here are some things to watch for:
- If the website claims to offer special deals to people who want to immigrate, dont deal with them. Dont pay for offers of guaranteed entry into Canada or faster processing of your application. These claims are false.
- Check the address in your browsers address bar when you land on a website. It should match the address you typed.
Here are some other ways to protect yourself:
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Check That You’ve Enabled The Spam Reporting Tool
Confirm the Junk E-mail Reporting Tool for Microsoft Office Outlook is installed or install it:
Go to the File tab.
In the Outlook Options dialog box, select Add-ins.
In the Inactive Applications list, select Microsoft Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in.
If the Microsoft Junk Email Reporting Add-in is not listed, download it from Microsoft.
Select the Manage drop-down arrow,choose Com Add-ins, and then select Go.
Select the Microsoft Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in check box.
Select OK to enable the add-in and restore the Report Junk options. Restart Outlook if prompted to do so.
If you need to recover mail from the Outlook Junk Mail folder, you can do so. When you do, you are showing Microsoft what good email looks like.
How Do I Report Immigration Fraud
Call the Canada Border Services Agency Border Watch Toll-Free Line at 1-888-502-9060 to report:
- suspicious activity at the border
- a marriage of convenience
- a person who has given false information on any immigration application or
- a person wanted on an immigration warrant
What you tell the tip line is private. Your identity stays protected.
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How To Recognize Phishing
Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day and theyre often successful. The FBIs Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that people lost $57 million to phishing schemes in one year.
Scammers often update their tactics, but there are some signs that will help you recognize a phishing email or text message.
Phishing emails and text messages may look like theyre from a company you know or trust. They may look like theyre from a bank, a credit card company, a social networking site, an online payment website or app, or an online store.
Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. They may
- say theyve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts
- claim theres a problem with your account or your payment information
- say you must confirm some personal information
- want you to click on a link to make a payment
- say youre eligible to register for a government refund
- offer a coupon for free stuff
Heres a real world example of a phishing email.
Imagine you saw this in your inbox. Do you see any signs that its a scam? Lets take a look.
Important Sites That Will Help Protect You
If you want to take the first step in reporting scam emails, Econsumer.gov is a good place to start. Their database is made of reports from around the world, submitted by scam victims just like you. If youve had to deal with scam emails, you can submit your information and help develop the database to track scam email perpetrators. Law enforcement officials from countries worldwide can use this database to understand the patterns behind scam emails. Helping out this effort is one of the best ways we can reduce scam emails on the net.
You can also help track scam emails with the Better Business Bureaus Scam Tracker. The form is exhaustive in detail, and by filling it out, you will help build a database of scam emails. This will help develop understandings of their patterns and methods and even help put email scammers behind bars. If you want to be a part of the database, follow the link above, and fill out the information.
With these quality resources in hand, you should be ready to respond to any scam email situation you find yourself in. By making your first response a detailed and prompt report, you can help protect yourself and others in the future. It is the best way to put a stop to scam emails.
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How To Report Phishing
If you got a phishing email or text message, report it. The information you give can help fight the scammers.
Step 1. If you got a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at . If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM .
Step 2. Report the phishing attack to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
How To Report A Phishing Or Spam Email To Microsoft
Microsoft can analyze dangerous emails to determine why those messages made it past your spam filters.
You receive an email that you find suspicious–potentially a phishing email–so you ignore or delete it. Another option is to report the email to Microsoft for analysis via the Outlook add-in called Report Message or a specific Microsoft address.
In addition, you can use the process to report a “false negative,” meaning a spam message that should have been identified as spam but was not. You can also use it to report a “false positive,” meaning a legitimate email that was incorrectly identified as spam. Microsoft analyzes such messages to improve its spam filtering technology.
First, if you use Outlook, install and enable the Report Message add-in. This add-in works with your Office 365 subscription and the following versions of Outlook: Outlook on the web, Outlook 2013 SP1, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2016 for the Mac, and Outlook included with Office 365 ProPlus. You’ll also need an Office 365 business account to enable add-ins.
After you installed Report Message, select an email you wish to report. Click the Report Message icon on the Home Ribbon, then select the option that best describes the message you want to report, such as Spam or Phishing. You can also report a legitimate message that was tagged as spam by selecting the Not Junk option .
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Dont Talk Back To Spam
The From header in a spam email is almost always forged, meaning its not a genuine person or organization with goodwill in mind, so replying with a Leave me alone! message is not the best thing to do. In most cases, in fact, that will actually increase the amount of spam you receive because youve confirmed that there is a live person reading email at that email address. Sometimes thats the kind of information a spammer or hacker wants because then they know whom to go after.
However, the right solution isnt simply telling your Internet Service Provider that you received spamits also a good idea to report it to the experts who are in charge of the network from which the email originated.
Even though the Internet is wide open and fairly unregulated, there are still some policies that individuals and businesses are supposed to adhere to. Some of it is related to business practices, but a lot is related to spamming and hacking. As computer users, we play a role in helping minimize bad online behavior by reporting it when we come across it. And thats the right thing to do if you think about it.
We need to do more than just get around spam and not get tricked or sucked in by itwe need to fight against it. And there are ways to do that.