Ever wonder how to report internet fraud? That’s not something I have much experience with, but today I needed to report an internet crime, so I’ll share that with you here. To report an internet crime to the FBI, go to the website Internet Crime Complaint Center. This website is called IC3, and the web address is IC3.gov. It is a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).
I tripped over a cyber criminal that posted a house for rent on craigslist. He had copied someone else’s rental ad and was posing as the owner himself. I got suspicious for several reasons:
- The listing price for the rental house was several hundred dollars below market
- The person presenting himself as the owner was “temporarily” out of state
- The ad was very well written – the email from the “owner” was poorly written
- I “googled” the rental address and found the identical ad listed elsewhere, for more money
- I called the number listed for the other ad for the same address and it was the real owner
My lessons learned – rent from the real owner! Check ID and verify ownership with public records. Do an internet search for the address. The scammers are finding rental ads online and copying them and reposting them on Craigslist – if they can find the original ad on the internet, so can you! It would also make sense for an owner to do an internet search for their own property address to make sure that scammers aren’t targeting them!
Has this happened to you? Have you reported a cyber crime? Is this type of fraud something you’ve heard about?