If you or someone you know is currently in danger, please contact your local law enforcement (9-1-1) IMMEDIATELY.

If you think you or someone you know is being targeted by an extortion scam, first consider if you or the individual is in danger to determine if you should call 911 or your local law enforcement office immediately. If you are safe, we recommend that you follow our guidelines below and then proceed to our ReportRecover, and Reinforce sections for further assistance.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

  • Stop all communication with the abuser or scammer, it’s important to not respond.
  • Block the abuser or scammer from your phone, email, and/or social media accounts.
  • Collect all relevant documentation related to the scam and keep them in a secure file. You may need to provide this documentation when you file a report. Use these Documentation Tips for Survivors of Technology Abuse & Stalking.
  • Find out if your local law enforcement agency will take a report at the non-emergency number.
  • Report the abuse to the online platform where the scam took place:
  • If you have wired money or made a payment and suspect it is a scam, contact your financial institution and/or the money service you used right away.
    • You can reach the complaint department of MoneyGram at 1-800-MONEYGRAM (1-800-666-3947) or Western Union at 1-800-325-6000.

Report

Reporting cybercrime incidents to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is very important! The more national reporting data that is collected, the better the chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease online crime. Although the FBI does not resolve individual complaints directly, they will make your report available to local, state and other law enforcement partners. The FAQs about reporting can be found here. Please read the FBI/IC3 privacy policy here. (If you believe that you’ve received a phishing email, please forward the email directly to spam@uce.gov and
reportphishing@apwg.org.)

Recover

These resources have been gathered, selected and vetted to help simplify the process of recovering after a cybercrime incident has taken place. You may need to contact organizations outside Fraudsupport.org. Results will vary depending on your circumstances.

Reinforce

Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity using these resources and tools.

Implement Preventive Measures

  • Install the most up-to-date security software on all of your devices.
  • Always keep your operating system up to date.
  • Keep your firewall turned on at all times to prevent hackers from stealing passwords or other sensitive information.
  • Never open an email attachment from someone you don’t know.
  • Create strong passwords. Learn how from ConnectSafely.org.
  • Always enable a two-step/factor verification on your email, social media and other online accounts– which requires an additional code to log in.