: How To Report Scams and Frauds in

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


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

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 Pennsylvania list of state agencies below:


Pennsylvania Scam Reporting Agencies and Consumer Protection Offices

State Consumer Protection Offices

  • Office of the Attorney General
    Address: Office of the Attorney General
    Bureau of Consumer Protection
    Strawberry Square, 15th Floor
    Harrisburg, PA 17120
    Phone Number: 717-787-3391
    Toll-free: 1-800-441-2555 (PA) 1-888-520-6680 (Home Improvement)

Regional Consumer Protection Offices

  • Erie Regional Office - Office of the Attorney General
    Address: Erie Regional Office - Office of the Attorney General
    Bureau of Consumer Protection
    1001 State St., 10th Floor
    Erie, PA 16501
    Phone Number: 814-871-4371
  • Philadelphia Regional Office - Office of the Attorney General
    Address: Philadelphia Regional Office - Office of the Attorney General
    Bureau of Consumer Protection
    21 S. 12th St., 2nd Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Phone Number: 215-560-2414
  • Pittsburgh Regional Office - Bureau of Consumer Protection
    Address: Pittsburgh Regional Office - Bureau of Consumer Protection
    Bureau of Consumer Protection
    Manor Complex, 6th Floor
    564 Forbes Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    Phone Number: 412-565-5135
  • Scranton Regional Office of the Attorney General
    Address: Scranton Regional Office of the Attorney General
    Bureau of Consumer Protection
    100 Samter Building
    101 Penn Ave.
    Scranton, PA 18503
    Phone Number: 570-963-4913
  • State College Regional Office of the Attorney General
    Address: State College Regional Office of the Attorney General
    Bureau of Consumer Protection
    444 E. College Ave., Suite 440
    State College, PA 16801
    Phone Number: 814-863-3900

County Consumer Protection Offices

  • Bucks County Department of Consumer Protection
    Email:
    consumerprotection@co.bucks.pa.us.
    Address: Bucks County Department of Consumer Protection
    50 N. Main St.
    Doylestown, PA 18901
    Phone Number: 215-348-7442
  • Delaware County Consumer Affairs
    Address: Delaware County Consumer Affairs
    201 W. Front St.
    Government Center Building
    Media, PA 19063
    Phone Number: 610-891-4865

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.

  • Department of Banking
    Address: Department of Banking
    Consumer Services
    17 N. Second St., Suite 1300
    Harrisburg, PA 17101-2290
    Phone Number: 717-787-1854
    Toll-free: 1-800-722-2657
    TTY: 1-800-679-5070

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.

  • Insurance Department
    Address: Insurance Department
    Consumer Services
    1209 Strawberry Square
    Harrisburg, PA 17120
    Phone Number: 717-787-2317
    Toll-free: 1-877-881-6388 (PA)
    TTY: 717-783-3898

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.

  • Securities Commission
    Address: Securities Commission
    17 N. 2nd St., Suite 1300
    Harrisburg, PA 17101
    Phone Number: 717-787-1854
    Toll-free: 1-800-722-2657 (PA)

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.

  • Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
    Email:
    consumer@paoca.org.
    Address: Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
    Office of the Attorney General
    555 Walnut St.
    5th Floor, Forum Place
    Harrisburg, PA 17101-1923
    Phone Number: 717-783-5048
    Toll-free: 1-800-684-6560 (PA)
  • Public Utility Commission
    Address: Public Utility Commission
    Bureau of Consumer Services
    PO Box 3265
    Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265


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.