The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched a new cyber-fraud reporting platform, where consumers can easily report fraud, scams or bad business practices.
As fraud has surged during the pandemic, the consumer protection agency has created ReportFraud.ftc.gov, a user-friendly platform providing a “streamlined experience” for people bombarded with online scams and impostor calls.
“Every time you report scams or bad business practices to the FTC, you’re helping to protect your community,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “With ReportFraud.ftc.gov, it’s quicker and easier than ever to share your story, and each report helps the FTC, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, fight fraud.”
The new website replaces the former FTC Complaint Assistant and provides steps for consumers to protect financial and personal information, depending on their submission.
In 2020, the FTC has gathered over 223,995 fraud reports covering over $160 million in consumer losses.
Additionally, more than 345,000 identity theft reports have been filed this year, with scammers leveraging everything from government benefits to phone and utility bills.
The reporting tool encourages users to report scams even if they are not 100% sure of fraudulent activity.
“Whether you think it’s a scam, you know it is, or you’re not happy about a business practice, tell the FTC,” the agency said. “The FTC and its law enforcement partners enforce a variety of laws. Your report makes a difference and can help law enforcers spot problems.”