Attorneys General (by state)
Among other things, the state attorneys general act as public advocates for consumers. Through their offices of consumer affairs, they alert the public to fraudulent activity.
Consumer Protection Offices
(state, county and city governments)
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI maintains a useful list of common fraud schemes.
Federal Communications Commission
The FCC is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC also has information on telephone, cell and fax scams.
Federal Trade Commission
The FTC is the nation’s consumer protection agency and provides a wealth of information on scams and how to protect yourself.
Postal Inspection Service
The Postal Inspection Service is charged with protecting the U.S. Postal Service, securing the nation’s mail system and ensuring public trust in the mail. They fight mail fraud.
Securities and Exchange Commission
The SEC’s mission includes protecting investors from fraudulent investments.
If you are looking to invest, the SEC’s tips on choosing brokers and investment advisers will be helpful.
Specific Types of Fraud
FTC identity theft site
The FTC offers a comprehensive guide to detecting and avoiding identity theft.
Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force
The task force was established in 2009 to hold accountable those who helped bring about the last financial crisis, and to prevent another crisis from happening. There is a link on the site to report instances of fraud.
The AARP organization is intended for those 50 and over, but it offers handy information for people of all ages.
Better Business Bureau
The BBB aims to be “the leader in advancing marketplace trust,” which means that they help consumers avoid fraud and find legitimate businesses.
Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
The group acts as an “anti-fraud watchdog” geared specifically to the insurance industry.
Identity Theft Resource Center
This nonprofit organization is dedicatedto the understanding and prevention of identity theft.
National Consumer League
The nation’s oldest consumer organization has two very good sites providing information on all kinds of scams. The fake checks site is packed with information on scams that use phony checks.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
This nonprofit consumer organization focuses on the protection of personal privacy rights.
FCC Consumer Complaints (phone/fax)
Guide to Security Freeze Protection
The nonprofit publishers of Consumer Reports offer a state-by-state guide to freezing your credit file.
Credit report request
For a free annual copy of your credit report
To obtain a copy by mail, you will need to download a request form from the Web site and send the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Direct Marketing Association
Using the DMA’s online tool, you can manage your direct mail preferences and cut down on the amount of junk mail you receive.
Electronic Scam information
Microsoft’s online safety and privacy education site includes good information on navigating safely online and creating secure passwords. Microsoft users can access the latest security updates.
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
The IC3 is a joint operation between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. IC3 releases an annual report on cyber crime that provides national statistics as well as state-by-state figures.
Javelin Strategy & Research
Javelin produces an annual report on consumer identity fraud. A free consumer version is available for download.
The institute conducts independent research on privacy, data protection and information security policy.