How to Report a Website (Fraud, Phishing, Malware and More) 2021


The internet is a free and open place, which means anyone can put up a website for any reason — even for an illegal or dangerous reason. If you happen to run across a fraudulent or otherwise dangerous website in your browsing, the best thing you can do is report it to an organization that will investigate the website further and protect other people from falling victim to it. Any website that was created to try to defraud or steal from people or that contains illegal content (such as child pornography) is worth reporting to the authorities.


Method 1 of 2:Contacting Law Enforcement

1Look for a cybercrime website for your country. Use an online search engine to search the phrase"report cybercrime"along with the name of your country. Choose the result that is an official government or law enforcement website.Trustworthy SourceInternet Crime Complaint CenterOnline reporting system for individuals to inform the FBI about Internet-related criminal activityGo to source

If you live in the US, you can use the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at https://www.ic3.gov/.

In Europe, go to https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online to find links for the cybercrime reporting websites for each country.

2Fill out an online report. Provide as much information as you can about the website, including the specific URL. If you received a link to the website through an email, you might be able to attach a digital copy of that email to your complaint.Trustworthy SourceInternet Crime Complaint CenterOnline reporting system for individuals to inform the FBI about Internet-related criminal activityGo to source

Some countries, including the US, require you to provide your full name and contact information with your complaint.

In other countries or with other law enforcement agencies, you might be able to submit an anonymous complaint. However, providing your name and contact information is more helpful in case investigators need to follow up with you.

If you have any evidence related to your report that you couldn't attach to the report itself, hang onto it in case investigators contact you. Keep it together in a safe place so you don't lose track of it.

3Report the website to local police if your country doesn't have an online option. Not all countries have a centralized website for reporting cybercrime. If you can't find one for your country, you can still report the website to your local police. Get a written copy of the report and keep it for your records.

If you're not sure where to report the crime, contact your local law enforcement agencies and ask them whether the problem would be handled at the local, state, or federal level.Expert SourceScott Nelson, JDPolice Sergeant, Mountain View Police DepartmentExpert Interview. 2 April 2020.

For example, in Canada, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security recommends reporting cybercrime to your local law enforcement or the RCMP. You can also report scams and fraud online to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Even if there is an online option, it's not a bad idea to go ahead and report the website to local police, especially if the site seems like it's targeting people locally. For example, if there's a site pretending to be your local utility company to phish for people's identity information, you would definitely want to report it to local police.

Method 2 of 2:Reporting to Web Browsers

1Navigate to the report window using the browser menu. If you report a website to a browser, it gets removed from search results so other people won't be able to find it so easily. The specific process for reporting a website differs depending on whether you're using Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Safari:

Firefox: select"Help,"then go to"Report Deceptive Site"

Internet Explorer: select"Settings,"then"Safety,"then the option that best suits your report (such as,"I think this is a phishing site")

Chrome and Safari: Go to https://safebrowsing.google.com/safebrowsing/report_phish/?hl=en

2Copy and paste the URL you want to report. Copy the full URL of the main website into your report. You typically don't have to provide any additional information. Security staff at the browser will evaluate the website.

3Enter the Captcha successfully. All browsers require you to complete a Captcha to prove that you're not a robot. This prevents competitors or hackers from creating a bot that would inundate the browser with complaints about a website to get it shut down.

If you have accessibility issues that prevent you from entering a Captcha successfully and the browser doesn't have any other options, get a friend to help you complete the report.

4Click the button to submit your report. With a successful Captcha, a button will appear that you can click to submit your report, and that's all you have to do! Security staff will evaluate the site and remove it from search results if it's conducting illegal activity.

If you have other browsers on your computer, there's nothing wrong with reporting the site to more than one browser. Reporting the site to a single browser only gets it removed from there — people could still potentially search for it and access it from the others.