A Free Educational Resource Created by Carnegie Mellon University to Empower You to Secure Your Part of Cyberspace

How To Report Cyber Crimes

Several authoritative resources are available to deal with the many issues that arise online.

As a child, one of the earliest things you are taught is to call 911 when you are in trouble and need help. As times change and you integrate technology into your life, calling 911 isn't always the best help with the current troubles you face. But don't fear. Several authoritative resources are available to handle the many issues that arise online.

How To Report Spam

Spam is one of the most annoying things about email. It's not just a problem for free email systems, such as Yahoo or Hotmail, but also for private and corporate email accounts. Adjusting email filter settings will keep most spam at bay, but this may result in valid and important emails also being filtered out.

Reporting spam is very easy and simple. Just forward the email to spam@uce.gov and ensure that you include the email header. The Federal Trade Commission  offers this service. They collate all the spam emails in a database which is used to pursue law enforcement against the senders of these emails.

To retrieve the message header, use the follow steps. Then copy and paste it in an email.

  • Yahoo: Right-click the message. Select "View full header."
  • Hotmail: Right-click the message. Select "View message source."
  • Outlook Express: Open the message. Go to "File," select "Properties," and then "Details."
  • Outlook: Open the message. Go to "File," select "Properties," then select "Details," and then "Message Source."
  • Gmail: Open the message. Select the options arrow next to "Reply," then "Show Original."

In addition to forwarding the email and its header, you can also report it to abuse@DOMAIN.com. For example, if the spam was sent from a Yahoo email account, you can forward to abuse@yahoo.com.

If you need further assistance in getting the header or additional information on reporting spam, you can contact the technical support or the FAQ page of email service provider.

How To Report Phishing

Phishing is a major concern as it can have devastating effects. Attackers that obtain your personal information may use it for a variety of illegal activities, mainly identity theft. Identity theft causes bad credit and inconvenience to every activity in your life and results in not just financial hardship but also emotional problems as well. You can report phishing to several resources, and the process is so simple that reporting to multiple resources is encouraged.

Use any or all of the following options to report phishing:

  • Forward the phishing email, the email's full header and the URL of the phishing website to phishing-report@us-cert.gov, spam@uce.gov and abuse@DOMAIN.com. (Note, DOMAIN should be the domain from which the phishing email was sent.)
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at complaint@ftc.gov.
  • Report the phishing incident to Anti-phishing Working Group  or Google  using the form available on those websites. Gmail account holders can select the options arrow button next to "Reply" at the top of the email message, and select "Report Phishing."
  • Report the phishing email and its contents to the legitimate website through their support or general contact us information. Remember to go directly to the legitimate website either by entering the URL directly or using a bookmark. Never click on the link in the phishing email.

How To Report Hacking

When one thinks of hackers we mainly think of corporations or government systems being broken into for trade and military secrets. Most people do not expect to be targeted by hackers, but this is naive. Hackers will try to hack your social network account and even use your email account as a bot to send spam and phishing emails. In addition some gaming systems such as Xbox and PlayStation can be hacked, causing unfair game play by other users in networked gaming.

If you believe you have been hacked, you can report the incident to the following law enforcement agencies using information available on their websites: FBI local office , U.S. Secret Service  and the Internet Crime Complaint Center . You can also report to your service provider that was hacked, such as your Internet service provider (ISP) or the provider of your email service

How To Report Cyberbullying

Most people can think of a kid in school that was a bully or can recognize bullies on television shows depicting school life. We have seen and can understand the trauma that can result from bullying. Online, this has become a problem for adults and kids alike and is known as cyberbullying. Also connected to cyberbullying is cyberstalking, which can be just as or even worse than stalking in real life as a cyberstalker is better able to disguise their identity.

If you or your child is a victim of cyberbullying, you can take the following steps:

  • Keep all evidence of the activities: email messages, pictures, instant messages and any other evidence. Try to take screenshots of posts on social network sites because they can be deleted by the poster, Save voicemails, including the date and time of occurrences, to support your report.
  • If classmates are involved, work with the school to enlist the help of school administrators and all the families involved to remedy the situation.
  • There are laws against cyberbullying and cyberstalking. Contact police if there are threats of violence, extortion, hate crimes or sexual exploitation. You may consider contacting an attorney or filing a claim in small-claims court for instances of defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Below are additional cyberbullying resources:


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