Additional Victim Assistance Resources
Many organizations provide assistance and support to fraud victims. Victims should be advised of these options, including the telephone number, Internet address, and a description of the services they can expect to receive from the organization.
A.Licensing, Reporting, and Investigation
Commodity Futures Trading Commission(202) 418-5000
3 Lafayette Center
1155 21st St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20581
Describes conduct that violates federal commodities law and offers a questionnaire form for reporting possible violations.
Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.(703) 276-0100
4200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203-1838
Provides referrals to local Better Business Bureaus and information on services available.
Federal Trade Commission(202) 326-2222
Public Reference Section
Division of Marketing Practices
600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 130
Washington, DC 20580
Provides information on ways to avoid consumer fraud.
National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA)(202) 659-5955
1255 23rd Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037-1174
Provides an information-sharing network to aid in the investigation of health care fraud; assists law enforcement agencies in their investigation and prosecution of health care fraud (primarily fraud committed by health care providers); conducts national seminars to educate the public and private sectors on effective methods of combating health care fraud; and expands the investigative capabilities of health care reimbursement organizations (private and governmental) through education in the detection, investigation, prosecution, and prevention of health care fraud.
Securities and Exchange Commission(202) 942-7040
Public Information Office
450 Fifth St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20549
Offers "Investor Alerts" announcing SEC enforcement actions and warnings about widespread fraud schemes.
U.S. Postal Inspection Service(312) 983-7900
Fraud Complaints Section
433 West Harrison St.
Chicago, IL 60669-2201
Provides consumer protection information, files and investigates crimes involving the use of postal services, and provides information on mail-related complaints filed against businesses and individuals. The Internet site offers excellent descriptions of different types of fraud.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service(800) 388-CCCS or
Offers free and confidential budget and debt counseling and debt management plans.
Federal Government Information Center(800) 688-9889
Provides assistance in obtaining government agency phone numbers.
National Fraud Information Center(800) 876-7060
Takes consumers' reports of telemarketing and Internet fraud and relays them to a variety of law enforcement agencies, and provides consumers with advice on how to identify and avoid telemarketing and Internet fraud. Professional counselors are available to speak to victims in English or Spanish. Information and statistics from the database can be requested by victim/witness coordinators and other law enforcement personnel.
National Futures Association(800) 676-4632
Maintains the registry of professionals registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, serves as a clearinghouse for consumer complaints and federal regulatory action, and provides information about investing.
National Insurance Crime Bureau(800) TEL-NICB
Takes and investigates complaints of insurance fraud (excluding Medicare and Medicaid), including medical and vehicular. Also provides consumer protection information.
Online Public Education Network Project (Project OPEN)(800) 466-OPEN
Offers the free brochure "Protecting Your Privacy When You Go Online" for consumers concerned about privacy in cyberspace.
Securities and Exchange Commission Consumer Hotline(800) SEC-0330
Maintains a registry of professionals registered with the SEC, provides information on complaints filed against investment firms and individuals and on federal regulatory actions, and provides consumer investment information.
Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline(800) 269-0271
Takes reports of social security number misuse, especially incidents relating to fraud.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services(800) HHS-TIPS
Office of the Inspector General
Takes and investigates reports involving Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, home health care, Food and Drug Administration, welfare, food stamps, and other programs administered by HHS.
U.S. Postal Service Crime Hotline(800) 654-8896
Takes reports of and investigates crimes that involve the U.S. Postal Service, including mail fraud, pornography, and drug transactions by mail, and also provides information on complaints filed by consumers against businesses or individuals.
The following national victim advocacy organizations provide referrals to federal, state, and local victim assistance services and programs.
Community Elder Care Locator(800) 677-1116
Provides community resources to assist elderly persons.
National Organization for Victim Assistance(800) TRY-NOVA
1757 Park Road, N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
Maintains a database of victim-related programs and services around the nation for victim referral.
National Victim Center(800) FYI-CALL
2111 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201
Maintains a database of victim-related programs and services around the nation for victim referral. In addition to providing programs and services, the National Victim Center also houses the Center's Victims' Litigation Project (CVLP), which helps crime victims find restorative justice through the civil justice process. Victims can be referred to legal counsel through the CVLP's nationwide network of attorneys and civil experts--the Coalition of Victim Attorneys and Consultants (COVAC). The CVLP also seeks to inform and educate attorneys, prosecutors, legal experts, victim service providers, victims, and others about issues surrounding civil litigation.
American Association of Retired Persons(202) 424-3410
601 E St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20049
AARP Northeast Region Consumer RepresentativePhone (617) 723-7600
(CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT)Fax (617) 305-0444
One Boston Place, Suite 1900
Boston, MA 02108
AARP Southeast Region Consumer RepresentativePhone (404) 888-0077
(AL, DC, FL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NC, PR, SC, TN, WV, VA, VI)Fax (404) 888-0902
999 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 1650
Atlanta, GA 30309
AARP Midwest Region Consumer RepresentativePhone (773) 714-9800
(IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, ND, NE, SD, WI)Fax (773-714-9927
8750 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60631
AARP Southwest Region Consumer RepresentativePhone (214) 265-4060
(AZ, AR, CO, KS, LA, MO, NM, OK, TX, UT)Fax (214) 265-4061
8144 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 700 LB-39
Dallas, TX 72531-4316
AARP West Region Consumer RepresentativePhone (206) 526-7918
(AK, CA, GU, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA, WY)Fax (206) 526-7918
9750 Third Avenue, N.E., Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98115
Serves as an advocate for the rights of the elderly and provides numerous services, including financial information programs and consumer tip sheets.
Mail Preference ServiceTelephone Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9008 P.O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735 Farmingdale, NY 11735
Removes names from most national mailing and phone lists if requested in writing. See sample letter provided in Appendix B.
National Charities Information Bureau(212) 929-6300
19 Union Square West
New York, NY 10003
Provides verification of registered charities and takes complaints of fraudulent charity solicitations.
National White Collar Crime Center(800) 221-4424
1001 Boulders Parkway, Suite 450
Richmond, VA 23225
Through funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National White Collar Crime Center provides national support for the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of white-collar and economic crimes. Services include sharing information on cases, on investigations, and on organizations suspected of involvement in economic crimes; limited financial assistance to selected multijurisdictional member agency investigations; training and research; and partnership development.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse(619) 298-3396
5384 Linda Vista Rd., #306
San Diego, CA 92110
Provides information and referrals for technology-related privacy issues. Also offers a series of publications (in English and Spanish) on telemarketing, identity theft, and other consumer fraud issues. Publications may be downloaded from its Internet site or requested by mail.
E.State and Local Governmental Agencies, Consumer Protection Agencies, and Professional Associations
State attorneys general also provide consumer information about fraudulent practices and, in some cases, work cooperatively to investigate complaints of fraudulent acts with federal investigative and prosecutorial agencies. Some offices of state attorneys general have victim assistance units or specialized fraud units and may be able to provide local assistance to address some federal victims' need for state- or community-based financial and emotional support.
State and local consumer protection agencies are a good source of information regarding local fraud schemes, providing printed consumer tips (often printed in several languages and available free or at a reduced charge) to avoid initial victimization. They also conduct workshops and public awareness events for professionals who work with fraud victims and for potential or already defrauded victims.
Some local and state bar associations have volunteer legal programs to assist low-income or elderly victims with legal matters. Many such associations conduct free workshops and seminars on bankruptcy and other legal matters.
State and local professional associations often provide services and conduct informational seminars about fraudulent practices or consumer protection at no cost or for a reduced fee. Professional associations include those established for accountants, physicians, investment brokers, bankers, financial advisors, and real estate and insurance agents.
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