How to File a Complaint About Internet Fraud

Written by michelle hickman
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How to File a Complaint About Internet Fraud
File a complaint concerning Internet scams and credit-card fraud. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Protect your rights, your identity and your bank account from Internet fraud by filing a complaint with the proper authorities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (the FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center have created the Internet Crime Complaint Center where victims of Internet fraud can file the appropriate complaints to initiate a criminal investigation. Internet fraud can include auction fraud, in which a person bids and wins on the sell of an item but never receives it, despite being charged for the amount. Another case of Internet fraud involves credit-card fraud when entering account information into a bogus business site, disguised as a known retailer.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    File an online complaint at the Internet Crime Complaint Center website ( Make sure you are not providing any false information that would cause you to be in violation of U.S. code, and which could result in fines or imprisonment. Carefully read the advisory note regarding the confidentiality of your complaint when affected to differing state laws.

  2. 2

    Answer all questions to the best of your knowledge and provide complete information. Provide your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address to help with the processing of your complaint. Include the name of the individual or business you believe acted to defraud you, the business address, telephone number, website and e-mail address of the business.

  3. 3

    Explain how the business defrauded you. Provide all necessary information that gives support to your complaint. You will receive an e-mail from the Internet Crime Complaint Center that has your complaint ID and password to confirm the centre has received your complaint. Press on the link to download a PDF version of the complaint you just filed for your records.

  4. 4

    Wait as the complaint centre analyses your complaint and sends the information to the necessary federal, international, state or local law enforcement agencies for the appropriate criminal or civil actions. You will be contacted by the law enforcement agency if it decides to investigate the matter and if it needs additional information.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep any related evidence concerning your complaint in a safe or other secure location. Should a law enforcement investigation ensue, the agency may request additional information from you regarding your case.
  • You cannot cancel a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint centre once it has been filed.

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