There isn’t a single worldwide organization dealing with spam and fraud email, each case has to be reported to the specific local authorities, if the spam has traveled through various countries it will take the collaboration of various law enforcement agencies to track down its origins, it will be time consuming.
The number of people that respond to spam and fraud is tiny but even a very small percentage of shoppers out of millions of emails can make money to the scammers, social media is a new opportunity for spammers and they are not missing on it, hacked Facebook and Twitter accounts are regularly used to send spam to everyone on the contact list, spam coming from a trusted friend, whose identity has been stolen unbeknown to them, is more likely to yield results with the victim ending up clicking on any link the message contains.
Something else with what scammers count is that most people never report a small loss of under $50, they know that it will cost them more money to follow up the case that whatever they can get back, online scams schemes that want want to survive keep themselves under police radar by only stealing small amounts of money, done thousands of times it represents good income, even if they have to refund a couple of people pursuing action in court.
Report spam emails directly to the ISP
Spamcop is an effective and well established antispam service, all you have to do is to open an account with them, copy and paste the email you receive on an online form and Spamcop software will find out from the headers where it was sent from getting through the hub of proxies used to disguise the original computer IP that spammers used, Spamcop will also find out the abuse contact email address for the ISP and the website where the spam is being hosted then send an automatic report in a matter of seconds.
Inside your Spamcop personal account you can check personal and global spam statistics, like reporting time, country of origin and past reports with dates.
Reporting fraud and spam email for US residents
In the United States you can report emails containing fraudulent medical products or services to the Food and Drug Administration: FDA Consumer Protection.
To report fraudulent investment emails you can do so at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website clicking on the SEC website Tips and Complaints or use the StopFraud website to find the email address where to send a report of more specific financial scams like mortgage or bankruptcy fraud.
To complaint about general email spam, like lottery scams, use the Federal trade Commission Complaint Assistant to forward them the deceptive email messages, they will store the spam in their database for future legal action, to help the FTC stop people calling you register your phone or file a complaint against companies disregarding the National Do Not Call registry at the DoNotCall website , the FTC also has an FTC Spam tips section with tips about how to avoid online scams and unsolicited email.
The FBI, National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistant have put together the Internet Crime Complaint Center where identity theft, phishing emails and other general cybercrime can be reported, a partnership in between law enforcement agencies and regulatory agencies makes sure online complaints go to the right hands.
The StopFakes website gives information on Intellectual Property theft and provides with a contact email address where to send questions about what to do when a product is being counterfeited, scroll down and click where on a small button that says “Report IP theft” to go to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement IP theft online report form.
To report online crime across borders outside the US use eConsumer and initiative made up of over two dozen consumer associations from all over the world in charge of enforcing fair trade practises.
Non US residents reporting email scams
Paypal has set up an antifraud department where you can report suspicious email and start an unauthorized transaction claim.
The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is an organization composed of businesses and law enforcement organisations focused on eliminating identity theft online resulting from email phishing scams, they have a report a suspected phishing website page, all of the emails are compiled into a list and analysed to spot trends and plan countermeasures.
Netcraft runs a very complete free antiphishing toolbar that warns you of suspected scam sites giving you vital information about every site you visit like country where the site is hosted, site popularity and risk rating, using the same toolbar you can report a phishing site with just one click.
Links to report spam (non US)
- Chinese people can report spam at the China Internet Association Anti-Spam Center
- Australians can report spam at the SCAMwatch
- Dutch people can report spam using the Onafhankelijke Post en Telecommunicatie Autoriteit
- British people can report scams using ActionFraud
- Canadians can report online fraud at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
When you report email fraud and spam online do not expect automatic results or even a response, that will depend on the organization taking your report, how serious the case is and how easy it is to follow the trail, many spammers are based abroad and they send emails using compromised computers, the best method to stop spam still is to never buy anything from them.