: How To Report Scams and Frauds in

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


How to report scams, frauds, schemes and crimes in South Carolina

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 South Carolina list of state agencies below:


South Carolina Scam Reporting Agencies and Consumer Protection Offices

State Consumer Protection Offices

  • South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
    Address: South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
    PO Box 5757
    Columbia, SC 29250
    Phone Number: 803-734-4200
    Toll-free: 1-800-922-1594 (SC)

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 the Commissioner of Banking
    Address: Office of the Commissioner of Banking
    State Board of Financial Institutions
    1205 Pendleton St., Suite 305
    Columbia, SC 29201
    Phone Number: 803-734-2001

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 Insurance
    Email:
    consumers@doi.sc.gov.
    Address: Department of Insurance
    Consumer Services
    PO Box 100105
    Columbia, SC 29202-3105
    Phone Number: 803-737-6180
    Toll-free: 1-800-768-3467 (SC)

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 Attorney General
    Address: Office of the Attorney General
    Securities Division
    PO Box 11549
    Columbia, SC 29211-1549
    Phone Number: 803-734-9916

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.

  • Office of Regulatory Staff
    Address: Office of Regulatory Staff
    Consumer Services Division
    1401 Main St., Suite 900
    Columbia, SC 29201
    Phone Number: 803-737-5230
    Toll-free: 1-800-922-1531 (SC)
    TTY: 1-800-334-2217 (SC)


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.