How to report a scam. It just got easier.


Two clicks and 15-seconds and you’ve got your answer

Where would you report a scam? If it has to do with a bank or credit card, you’d go where – the CFPB or the FTC?

A phone scam – the FTC, the FCC, or the FBI? A social media scam – the security team at the platform or your local police? Got you thinking, eh? A little-known government website – USAGov – has been working to simplify finding an answer to that question. 

The aim of the USAGov program is to make it easier for consumers to find and learn about the government services and information they need anytime, anywhere, any way they want. Everything from food assistance to help with utility bills. And now, it’s making scam assistance a best-foot-forward goal. 

“People often come to us wanting to report scams but don’t know which kind of scam should be reported to which agency," one official said. "And many experience emotional harm as a result of being scammed. USAGov’s usability (UX) team kept this in mind as we developed a pared-down process for our visitors to easily report a scam.”

After following up on those questions, the agency decided that a “wizard” would work best for consumers and created a version in English for and a version in Spanish for USAGov en Español.

The agency claims that the new tool replaces all of its text-heavy pages and removes the stress of reporting a scam. All visitors have to do now is answer a few simple questions to find out where and how to report scams using the wizard.

One of the things USAGov is proudest of is that the tool can answer real-world questions. It cleared up issues consumers were having such as the difference between “identity theft” and “impostor.” 

ConsumerAffairs decided to give the new tool a ride and USAGov should get a high-five for its work. Within two clicks and 15 seconds, we found straight head, one-sentence answers to every type of scam question we possibly could pose.

For example, when we asked the wizard about someone posing as the IRS claiming that we owed taxes, we were given a single-click email link to the right person at the IRS and a suggestion (with a link) to inform the FBI, too.

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