How to Report a Phone Scam

You need to file a complaint with several groups after a phone scam

Whether you’ve been the victim of a human scammer or a robocall con, it’s important to report phone scams as soon as possible so that the authorities and other appropriate organizations are made aware of the type and number of phone call scams that are targeting people.

By reporting phone scammers to the proper people, you can help the right groups build up their lists of suspicious numbers used in phone scams and the various ways in which the scammers attempt to trick people out of their money or financial and personal data.

While some organizations may be able to help you if you’ve been scammed, the level of which they can assist you will depend on your particular situation and how much information they have on the specific scam that you were a target of.

The main aim of reporting phone scams is to assist the authorities. If you have been scammed, there are important additional steps you may need to take.

Where to Report Scams

The correct places for where to report phone scams will depend on what sort of scam you have been a victim of and which services or products were involved. In general, you will want to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

How to File a Complaint With the BBB

The Better Business Bureau (or BBB) can sometimes be a useful resource when dealing with phone scams as its website contains a listing of businesses which have had complaints filed against them. This can be used to crosscheck the name of the business that a scammer claims to be working for if you’re suspicious about their motives or claims.

Better Business Bureau (or BBB) website.
BBB

To file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, you can submit a scam report by filling out a form on their website. If you provide enough details, the BBB will actually reach out to the involved company for more information or confirmation of their claims and will follow up again if they haven’t heard back within two weeks.

The BBB has a very strong stance against course language and will not process your request if it involves any swearing.

How to Report Phone Scams to the ICCC

The Internet Crime Complaint Center’s main focus is internet scams and fraud but it can also be a good place to file a report if you’re a victim of a phone scam due to the number of phone scams involving online account passwords and other related information.

Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC) website.
ICCC

Like the FTC and BBB websites, the ICCC’s site also features an online form which you can use to report phone scams. As with the other methods on this page, the more information you provide in your report the better.

How to Report Phone Scams to the FTC

Filing an FTC gov complaint is one of the most-important things you should do as the Federal Trade Commission is one of the largest bodies in the United States with the primary goal of protecting consumers from fraud and scams.

The Complaint Assistant form on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website.
FTC

To report phone scams to the FTC, all you need to do is fill in the Complaint Assistant form on the FTC website. This form allows you to categorize your report from a selection of choices on the left side of the screen but, if you’re unsure how to label the phone scam you’ve fallen victim to, you can select Other from the bottom of the list.

The FTC also has another form which specifically focuses on unwanted phone calls. However, you need to be registered on the Do Not Call Registry for 31 days before you can use this form to file complaints.

When filing a report with any organization, it’s important to provide as much information as possible on the scammer, the number they called you from, and what they knew about you.

If you've received a suspicious text message on your phone, you can quickly send it to the FTC for investigation by forwarding it to SPAM (7726).

How to Report Phone Scams to the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent US government agency for overseeing interstate and international communications. They have a vested interest in improving the quality and reliability of phone services in the country and accept complaints via a page on their official website.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website.
FCC

The complaint form allows you to categorize your issue by a number of subjects such as cramming, unwanted calls, privacy, and other common phone scam problems.

How to Report Phone Scams to PayPal

PayPal doesn’t offer a way to report phone call scams but it does accept, and encourage, reports of suspicious texts or phishing emails you may have received on your smartphone by asking that all scammy messages be forwarded to phishing@paypal.com. This includes emails that may be trying to send you to a fake website designed to get your PayPal username and password.

If you've sent a phone scammer money via PayPal, you may be able to cancel the transaction.

How to Report Phone Scams to Venmo

The popular payment app and service, Venmo, encourages its users to report Venmo-related scam calls either by sending an email to support@venmo.com or by calling 855-812-4430. There is also an email form on the official Venmo website that can be used to submit information relating to a phone scam.

How to Report Scams to Microsoft

If you’ve been the target of a Microsoft-related phone con, such as the technical support scam, you can report it to Microsoft by filling in this form on their website. Microsoft will ask for detailed information on the phone scammer such as the name of the company they claim to represent, their phone number and website, and their name.

How to Report Google Phone Scams

Google doesn’t really offer a way to accept reports of scam calls themselves. Instead, the company asks those who have received phone calls from scammers claiming to be from Google to report the calls via the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry Unwanted Calls form.

How to Report Scams to Apple

To get full support after being scammed by a phone scam, or to report a phone scam number, Apple recommends that you reach out to them via one of their official support methods listed on their website either by phone, email, or online chat.

Apple Support website.
Apple

Suspicious Apple-related emails and text messages sent to your smartphone should be forwarded directly to reportphishing@apple.com. Note that this email is simply for reporting Apple scam messages and can’t be used for reporting scam calls or for receiving customer support.