How to Report (And Stop) Fraud Attempts Using Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail Addresses

Followers of the AvoidAClaim blog will know that fraud attempts against lawyers show no sign of slowing down. Almost daily we see new names and new email addresses being used. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done to track down the actual perpetrators who are often overseas and using free email services.

However, the free email services will shut down addresses being used for illegitimate activities. Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail all have pages where you can submit an email address used in a fraud attempt. Yes, the fraudsters can quickly generate a new one, but shutting down an address will help stop any fraud attempts already in progress and force them to start from scratch.

The email services will usually ask that you submit the “header” of the email. This is the information (normally hidden) that shows all the various IP addresses and servers that the email bounced around on its way from the overseas fraudster to your inbox. It’s relatively simple to display header information, and instructions for various email services are provided here.

Here are the pages to report the fraudsters, based on what email company they used:

We often get asked “What can I do to help shut these fraudsters down?” This is a simple but effect way to strike a blow against them.


  1. David Collier-Brown

    John Fallows has an more general article “Hacked!” in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly.