Phishing emails target vulnerable individuals by pretending to be something they aren’t. They could mimic an Amazon invoice or the sales department at Apple. Or they could claim to be from the IRS.

Whatever disguise they adopt, phishers tend to be hard to detect, and the effects of their scams cost Americans hundreds of millions of dollars every year. So reporting phishing should be everyone’s top priority.

Why it’s vital to report phishing email scams

Phishing is a worldwide phenomenon, but it’s experienced on a person-by-person basis. We come into contact with phishers via the emails they send and the websites they create, making it hard for the authorities and security companies to take action to neutralize them.

Because of this, it’s really important to report phishing text whenever you receive it. If we all report phishing email scams, we can protect the online community as a whole – but it takes a collective effort to inform people who have the power to act.

Sites like Google are a major platform for phishers who run illegitimate sites or send emails, but Google relies on individuals to flag up problems. The same applies to Apple and email providers like Yahoo. So make a point of finding out how do I report a suspicious email or Google search result. We’ll all benefit as a result.

What to do if you receive phishing emails

Reporting phishing scams is absolutely essential. However, it’s important to note that the situation changes if you have fallen victim to a phishing attack. In that case, a crime may well have been committed, so instead of reporting phishing text to different companies or organizations, you’ll need to report the issue to the Police.

If you haven’t given away any details or lost any money, things are much simpler. The first stage in learning how to report phishing emails is detecting phishing scams reliably. Double check the suspicious email, matching each link against actual websites and carefully reading the text. Even the most reputable companies sometimes make grammatical or factual mistakes in their emails, so don’t rush to a conclusion.

However, if you’re genuinely concerned by an email, the next stage is to arrange a report. How to report phishing emails varies depending on which site is involved. For instance, if you’ve received an email from Amazon, you’ll need to send the details to their “stop spoofing” team.

Often, a phishing scam will involve more than one organization. For example, it might come from a government department, but be sent via Gmail. In those cases, it makes sense to report phishing text to both the email provider and the organization being spoofed. People often forget one of these reports, but they are essential to keeping the internet safe to use.

How to tell Google about phishing emails or websites

Google is well aware of the dangers posed by phishers, and they make it fairly easy to report a phishing attack. If the phishing attack takes the form of an illegitimate website address, you can just head to this page, enter the URL and whatever background comments could help guide Google’s team.

If you’re using Gmail, the process is slightly different, but should be dealt with in the same way. Sometimes, Google will be able to detect dangerous emails, which may have been flagged up by other users, or just haven’t been constructed with care and attention by the phishers.

You can also manually register your concern about an email. All you need to do to report phishing email to Gmail is to move the offending message into your spam folder. This sends the message to Gmail’s analysis team, who will assess whether it poses a threat. So don’t leave possible phishing emails in your account, and don’t just trash them.

Finally, some phishers use Gmail accounts to target their prey. In that case, there’s a specialist answer to how to report phishing emails to Google. Just head here and specify the nature of the threat.

How to report phishing email to Apple

Attacks which aim to steal Apple ID information are the number one most common type of phishing attack in the world. Around 1 in 4 phishing attacks are linked to Apple accounts, and the tech giant has made a point of seeking information from as many affected users as possible.

As soon as you identify a potential phishing attack on your Apple ID, the best idea is to send an email to Apple’s phishing threats team. Just forward the offending message without changing the header, as this can include useful information for Apple to analyse.

You can also report phishing email to Apple regarding your iTunes ID. Attackers often try to obtain your payment details by posing as iTunes, and Apple are well aware of their strategies.

They advise that official emails from iTunes will never ask for credit card CCV codes, credit card numbers, your mother’s maiden name, or your social security number. So if these details are requested, be sure to raise an alert. And all legitimate receipts from iTunes will include your billing address. If it’s not there, it’s time to report phishing email to Apple.

How to report phishing emails and messages on social media

These days, many phishers choose to target social media networks and their messaging systems, so it helps to answer the question how do I report a suspicious email to Facebook or Twitter as well.

If you’ve received a message on Facebook which links to a site asking for your account details, don’t enter anything. To be extra careful, you might want to change your password. But whatever the situation, be sure to send details of the sender and the message to Facebook’s anti-phishing department.

The situation is very similar where Twitter is concerned. Phishers can learn plenty about targets from their Twitter feeds, and often send DMs or comments to attract attention.

Most unsafe links will be flagged up by Twitter on your feed, but this isn’t always the case, so be very cautious about clicking links sent by strangers. If a particular profile appears to be phishing, go to their page and click the “…” icon, before choosing the “Report” option. If there’s an issue, Twitter’s admins should remove the offending user.

Stay aware and always report phishing email

Every web user should familiarize ask themselves how do I report a suspicious email. Whether you need to report phishing email to Apple or report phishing text to your local Police, there are numerous channels to send the relevant information.

Whatever you do, don’t just let phishers get away with their activity. We all benefit from individual users reporting suspicious messages, so try and do so if possible.