Anti-fraud organizations:

  • National Fraud Information Center- 800-876-7060
    File local, state, federal reports and ask questions about a particular sweepstakes or vacation.

  • Florida Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services - 850-488-2221
    Responsible for protecting Florida consumers from unethical sellers of travel. Before contracting with a travel business, call to determine whether it is registered and if there are any complaints.
    Division of Consumer Services
    235 Mayo Bldg.
    Tallahassee, Fl 32399-0800

    Internet hoaxes:

  • - Internet Crime Complaint Center 
  • A "too good to be true" Craigslist posting may have unusual text or misspelled words.  Simply copy a suspect phrase or the strange title and place it in the search box of the tool.  You'll see if the same thing is being presented as a local item in other cities, indicating it may be a scam (special thanks to listener Charlie for suggesting this.)

    General guidelines:

  • How To Avoid Internet Fraud & Phishing Scams | Notary Bonding
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued the Telemarketing Sales Rule to help protect you from deceptive and abusive telemarketing sales practices. The Rule empowers you to stop unwanted calls and gives your state attorney general the power to prosecute fraudulent telemarketers who
    operate across state lines. If you are a victim, call the Federal Trade Commission - 877-382-4357

  • To Avoid Pyramid and/or Multi-level Marketing Schemes (including those on the Internet):
    1) Avoid any plan that offers commissions for recruiting additional distributors.
    2) Beware of plans that ask you to spend upfront money on high-priced inventory.
    3) Be cautious of plans that claim you will make money through continued growth of your "downline" (ie, commissions on sales made by those you recruit) instead of on sales you make yourself.
    4) Beware of "shills" - decoy references the promoter pays to describe fictional success in earning money thorugh the plan.
    5) Do your homework; check the BBB and state attorney general's office about any plan, especially if claims about earnings or the product sound too good to be true.

  • If you believe you are a victim of telemarketing fraud, notify these authorities:
    -State Attorney General office - investigates & prosecutes fraud
    -Better Business Bureau - has info about complaints against businesses
    -State Securties Commision - regulates sale of securities
    -U.S. Postal Inspectors - regarding scams through the mail
    -Federal Bureau of Investigation - investment fraud or other criminal violations
    -Commodity Futures Trading Commission -regulates firms in commodity /futures markets
    -Security & Exchange Commission - public offer and sales of securities
    -Federal Trade Commission - develops & enforces rules relating to fraud