How to Report Fraud to Gmail

By Nick Peers

If you receive spam or phishing emails in your Gmail account, you can -- and should -- report them to Google. A phishing email usually asks for your information or attempts to redirect you to a website where you are required to input your information. Furthermore, you can report Gmail users who violate Google's Terms of Use or Program Policies by filling out an online form. Google will review your reports and take action against the offenders. Additionally, you can report the offender to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Reporting Spam and Phishing Emails

Step 1

Log in to your Gmail account and open the spam or phishing email by clicking it.

Step 2

Click the "More" icon next to the Reply icon and choose "Report spam" to report a spam email or "Report phishing" to report a phishing email. You can also report spam by clicking the "Report Spam" button in the toolbar above the email.

Step 3

Click the "Report Spam" or "Report Phishing Message" button to confirm and send the report.

Report a Gmail User

Step 1

Open the "I Would Like to Report a Gmail User..." page (link in Resources) and type your email address and Gmail username into the text boxes.

Step 2

Type the email address of the offender into the "Full Gmail address of the person involved in the incident" box and paste the email headers into the "Email headers of the questionable message" box. To get the headers, open the email in Gmail, click the "More" icon and click "Show original." Select everything above the body of the email, press "Ctrl-C" and paste it into the form by pressing "Ctrl-V."

Step 3

Enter the subject of the email into the "Original subject line of the questionable message" box. Select the body of the email, press "Ctrl-C" and then paste it into the "Content of the questionable message" box by pressing "Ctrl-V."

Step 4

Click the "Yes" radio button if the sender is impersonating Google and then click the "Submit" button to send the report.

Tips & Warnings

  • Report the offender to the IC3 (link in Resources) to ensure appropriate legal action is taken against him.
  • To protect your computer against viruses and spyware, avoid opening attachments in suspicious emails.
  • Never reply to spam or phishing emails. The sender may send follow up emails; refrain from replying to any of them.
  • Banks and other financial institutions never ask for your account information online; they already have access to your information. If you receive an email asking for such information, report it as phishing immediately.
  • Phishing websites may look like the genuine website, but their domain name is different. Instead of following the link in the email, open the genuine website in your Web browser by typing its URL manually.
  • Phishers can spoof email addresses so that their emails appear to be coming from an authentic source. Even if an email appears to be coming from your bank, it may in fact come from a skilled phisher.
  • If you replied to a phishing email with your personal information, change your passwords and login information immediately. Report the email to Google and IC3 as soon as possible.