: How To Report Scams and Frauds in

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


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

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 Rhode list of state agencies below:


Rhode Scam Reporting Agencies and Consumer Protection Offices

State Consumer Protection Offices

  • Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General
    Email:
    contactus@riag.ri.gov.
    Address: Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General
    Consumer Protection Unit
    150 S. Main St.
    Providence, RI 02903
    Phone Number: 401-274-4400

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 Business Regulation
    Address: Department of Business Regulation
    Division of Banking
    1511 Pontiac Ave.
    Bldg. 68-2
    Cranston, RI 02920
    Phone Number: 401-462-9500

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.

  • Department of Business Regulation
    Email:
    InsuranceInquiry@dbr.ri.gov.
    Address: Department of Business Regulation
    Insurance Division
    1511 Pontiac Ave.
    Bldg. 69-2
    Cranston, RI 02920
    Phone Number: 401-462-9520

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.

  • Department of Business Regulation
    Email:
    securitiesinquiry@dbr.ri.gov.
    Address: Department of Business Regulation
    Securities Division
    1511 Pontiac Ave.
    Cranston, RI 02920
    Phone Number: 401-462-9527

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.

  • Public Utilities Commission
    Email:
    consumer.section@ripuc.org
    Address: Public Utilities Commission
    Consumer Section
    89 Jefferson Blvd.
    Warwick, RI 02888
    Phone Number: 401-780-9700


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.