: How To Report Scams and Frauds in

How to Report Scams and Frauds in Massachusetts
Government agency resources: phone numbers, links to their websites and contact email addresses


How to report scams, frauds, schemes and crimes in Massachusetts

Most scams violate federal laws and regulations, but a few are investigated by state or local authorities.  In general, if a scam uses the national services, like the US mail postal service, that would be reported to the related national agency, like the USPS, (see this page for reporting federal agencies). Scams involving businesses and scammers operating from a location within a state's borders would often be reported to a state agency. City, county, regional, and state consumer offices offer a variety of important services. They might mediate complaints, conduct investigations, prosecute offenders of consumer laws, license and regulate professional service providers, provide educational materials and advocate for consumer rights. To save time, call before sending a written complaint. Ask if the office handles the type of complaint you have and if complaint forms are provided. See the Massachusetts list of state agencies below:


Massachusetts Scam Reporting Agencies and Consumer Protection Offices

State Consumer Protection Offices

  • Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
    Email:
    ago@state.ma.us
    Address: Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
    Public Inquiry and Assistance Center
    One Ashburton Pl., 18th Floor
    Boston, MA 02108-1518
    Phone Number: 617-727-8400 (Consumer Hotline)
    TTY: 617-727-4765
  • Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
    Address: Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
    10 Park Plaza, Suite 5170
    Boston, MA 02116
    Phone Number: 617-973-8700
    Toll-free: 1-888-283-3757 (MA, Consumer Hotline)
    TTY: 1-800-720-3480

Regional Consumer Protection Offices

  • Office of the Attorney General- Central Massachusetts Region
    Email:
    ago@state.ma.us.
    Address: Office of the Attorney General- Central Massachusetts Region
    Public Inquiry and Assistance Center
    10 Mechanic St.
    Suite 301
    Worcester, MA 01608
    Phone Number: 508-792-7600
    TTY: 617-727-4765
  • Office of the Attorney General- Southern Massachusetts Region
    Email:
    ago@state.ma.us.
    Address: Office of the Attorney General- Southern Massachusetts Region
    Public Inquiry and Assistance Center
    105 William St., 1st Floor
    New Bedford, MA 02740-6257
    Phone Number: 508-990-9700 617-727-8400 (Hotline)
    TTY: 617-727-4765
  • Office of the Attorney General- Western Massachusetts Region
    Email:
    ago@state.ma.us.
    Address: Office of the Attorney General- Western Massachusetts Region
    Consumer Protection Division
    1350 Main St., 4th Floor
    Springfield, MA 01103-1629
    Phone Number: 413-784-1240 617-727-8400 (Hotline)
    TTY: 617-727-4765

County Consumer Protection Offices

  • Springfield Mayors Office of Consumer Information
    Email:
    moci@springfieldcityhall.com.
    Address: Springfield Mayors Office of Consumer Information
    City Hall, Room 315
    36 Court St.
    Springfield, MA 01103
    Phone Number: 413-787-6437
    TTY: 413-787-6154
  • Norfolk District Attorney's Office
    Address: Norfolk District Attorney's Office
    Consumer Protection Division
    45 Shawmut Rd.
    Canton, MA 02021
    Phone Number: 781-830-4800 ext. 279
    TTY: 617-727-0434
  • Northwestern District Attorneys Office - Franklin County
    Address: Northwestern District Attorneys Office - Franklin County
    Consumer Protection Unit
    13 Conway St.
    Greenfield, MA 01301
    Phone Number: 413-774-3186
  • Northwestern District Attorneys Office - Hampshire County
    Address: Northwestern District Attorneys Office - Hampshire County
    Consumer Protection Division
    One Gleason Plaza
    Northampton, MA 01060
    Phone Number: 413-586-9225

City Consumer Protection Offices

  • Boston Consumer Affairs and Licensing
    Email:
    MOCAL@cityofboston.gov.
    Address: Boston Consumer Affairs and Licensing
    One City Hall Square, Room 817
    Boston, MA 02201-2039
    Phone Number: 617-635-3834
  • Cambridge Consumers Council
    Email:
    consumer@cambridgema.gov.
    Address: Cambridge Consumers Council
    831 Massachusetts Ave., 1st Floor
    Cambridge, MA 02139
    Phone Number: 617-349-6150
    TTY: 617-349-6112
  • Newton-Brookline Consumer Office
    Address: Newton-Brookline Consumer Office
    Newton City Hall
    1000 Commonwealth Ave.
    Newton Centre, MA 02459
    Phone Number: 617-796-1292
    TTY: 617-796-1089
  • Revere Consumer Affairs Office
    Address: Revere Consumer Affairs Office
    281 Broadway
    Revere, MA 02151
    Phone Number: 781-286-8114

Banking Authorities

The officials listed in this section regulate and supervise state-chartered banks. Many of them handle or refer problems and complaints about other types of financial institutions as well. Some also answer general questions about banking and consumer credit. If you are dealing with a federally chartered bank, check Federal Agencies.

  • Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
    Address: Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
    Division of Banks
    Consumer Assistance Unit
    1000 Washington St., 10th Floor
    Boston, MA 02118-6400
    Phone Number: 617-956-1500
    Toll-free: 1-800-495-2265 (MA)
    TTY: 617-956-1577

Insurance Regulators

Each state has its own laws and regulations for each type of insurance. The officials listed in this section enforce these laws. Many of these offices can also provide you with information to help you make informed insurance buying decisions.

  • Division of Insurance
    Address: Division of Insurance
    Consumer Services Section
    1000 Washington St., Suite 810
    Boston, MA 02118-6200
    Phone Number: 617-521-7794
    Toll-free: 1-877-563-4467 (MA)
    TTY: 617-521-7490

Securities Administrators

Each state has its own laws and regulations for securities brokers and securities - including stocks, mutual funds, commodities, real estate, etc. The officials and agencies listed in this section enforce these laws and regulations. Many of these offices can also provide information to help you make informed investment decisions.

  • Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
    Email:
    securities@sec.state.ma.us.
    Address: Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
    Securities Division
    One Ashburton Pl., 17th Floor
    McCormack Building
    Boston, MA 02108
    Phone Number: 617-727-3548
    Toll-free: 1-800-269-5428 (MA)
    TTY: 617-878-3889

Utility Commissions

State Utility Commissions regulate services and rates for gas, electricity and telephones within your state. In some states, the utility commissions regulate other services such as water, transportation, and the moving of household goods. Many utility commissions handle consumer complaints. Sometimes, if a number of complaints are received about the same utility matter, they will conduct investigations.

  • Department of Public Utilities
    Email:
    DPUConsumer.Complaints@state.ma.us.
    Address: Department of Public Utilities
    Consumer Division
    One South Station, Suite 2
    Boston, MA 02110
    Phone Number: 617-737-2836
    Toll-free: 1-877-886-5066

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General Precautions and Recommendations- What to do with suspicious emails:

  • Only open email or IM attachments that come from a trusted source and that are expected
  • Use an anti-virus/anti-spam package (we recommend Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security scan all attachments prior to opening. Click here to see Norton 360 2013 on Amazon.com .
  • Delete the messages without opening any attachments
  • Do not click on links in emails that come from people you do not know and trust, even if it looks like it comes from a company you know.
  • Keep your anti-virus software up to date
  • Keep your operating system up to date with current security patches. Click here for an article that describes how to do this.

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.