If you think you or someone you know has been affected by a government imposter scam, we recommend that you act immediately by following our guidelines below, and then proceed to our ReportRecover and Reinforce sections for further assistance.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

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 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.

  • Contact the official Government Agency about the Scam: All official government listings can be found on USA.gov
    • IRS
    • Social Security Administration
    • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • CMS & HHS Websites
      • HealthCare.gov
      • InsureKidsNow.gov
      • MyMedicare.gov
      • Medicaid.gov
  • File a complaint with your State Attorney General’s Office.

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

  • Remember that no legitimate government official will ask you to buy gift cards, wire  money or send BitCoin to collect a prize or to pay for debt over the phone, by text, or via an email.
  • Never give out any personal or account information over a phone call, text message, or email from someone claiming to be from the government.
  • Ask the individual calling you for them to verify your name, address, and the last four digits of your social security number before proceeding any further.
  • Learn how to recognize scams from various government agencies: IRS Scams, Medicare Scams, Immigration Scams, Social Security Scams, Army Social Media Scams
  • Check your consumer rights with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Keep passwords private
  • Use caution with unsecured Wi-Fi connections.
  • Don’t share too much personal info on social media.