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I received an e-mail that’s an obvious scam. What should I do about it?

Ben Steelman

According to the Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina, one option is to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.

 The unit — which goes by the acronym IC3 — has a website — www.ic3.gov — where you can file complaints online. You can also check its “Press Room” section for “intelligence notes” with helpful hints. (For example, here’s a note about “secret shopper” scams: http://www.ic3.gov/media/2010/100120.aspx.)

Another resource is the Internet Fraud and Safety Page at the Federal Trade Commission’s website: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/tech/privacy.shtm.

To file a complaint at the FTC’s website, go to: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en,

Here’s the FTC’s page on spam e-mail: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/tech/tec02.shtm

Not sure if it’s scam? One place to check is the “Inboxer Rebellion” page at the Urban Legends Reference Pages: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/inboxer.asp.

This section covers Internet and email hoaxes, scams and ordinary false rumors.

You should also check out the site’s “Top Scams” page: http://www.snopes.com/fraud/topscams.asp.

(Hint: Sorry, you probably didn’t win the Irish sweepstakes. Don’t respond. And beware of Nigerian widows, no matter how sad their stories.)

User-contributed question by:
Richard Crelin

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2 Responses to “ I received an e-mail that’s an obvious scam. What should I do about it?”

  1. On October 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm Roger wrote:

    Any e-mail that states that you have won a large amount of money or would like to have you to hold it for them in your account and they will let you know when to sent it to them, don’t worry about sending it to them because they have taken everything out of your account when you gave them your bank account number for them to deposit it in your bank. I had been told that I had won 4.5 million pounds in a London Lottery. I asked them to send it in a certified check from their bank, and I never heard from them any more.

  2. On October 30, 2010 at 10:05 pm Roger wrote:

    If you have a spam folder in your e-mail use it. It keeps the spam e-mails out of your e-mails.

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