Responding to the challenges of multinational Internet fraud, econsumer.gov was established in 2001 to gather and share cross-border e-commerce consumer complaints. The website allows consumers to file complaints about online and related transactions with foreign companies, and to try to resolve their complaints through means other than formal legal action. (Currently, 28 countries participate in econsumer.gov.)
Once a complaint is lodged with econsumer.gov, the complaint is entered into the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel network, a consumer complaint database accessible to certified government law enforcement and regulatory agencies. What happens to the complaints filed in the database is anyone’s guess. Though government agencies can use the information to investigate suspect companies and individuals, the econsumer.gov website states that “you should not necessarily expect any country to pursue your complaint on your behalf.”
So what’s the point of filing a complaint? Well, the information you report does help authorities uncover new scams and spot trends in fraud.