Fake Agencies and Scam Organizations - How to Recognize Them and What to Do

Fake Government Agencies, Scam Charitable Organizations and Other Non-Existent Entities - How to Recognize Them and How to Report Them

We have all heard about fake email and mails claiming to be from your bank or credit card company, but scammers don't limit themselves to those institutions.  Especially at the holidays, after natural disasters and during political campaigns, fraudsters are quick to capitalize upon the latest news items to create fake organizations. 

They use the names of famous events, people in the news or even claim to be a branch of a government, a nonprofit or a charitable organization, to get you to give them money or your identity.

Below are links to our pages with actual examples of these scams. 

How to Recognize a Fake Organization, Institution or Government Agency

Let's look at some actual situations, experiences and in some cases, emails people received and see how we can spot that they are scams. In general, notice the awesome amount of misspellings, poor grammar and run-on sentences.  Even if they weren't scams, would you believe that someone who wrote or spoke like that would be in a position of authority?  But that may not be a giveaway: some scammers are very well educated and smooth talkers, too!

Some of these pages are being updated: They should be online by January 1, 2008

Sample Scam agencies and organizations by theme

See this page for a detail explanation of how the scams work, step-by-step!

How to Report a Fraudulent Organization or Business Proposal

In the United States contact:

U.S. Secret Service
Financial Crimes Division
1800 G Street, NW
Room 942
Washington, DC 20223
Phone: (202) 435–5850
Fax: (202) 435–5031
Or contact the local U.S. Secret Service Field Office.


Contact the Foreign Commercial Service (FSC) at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If there is no FCS office, contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the Consular Section or the Regional Security Office.

For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!




For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.