Q:

How do you report illegal business practices?

A:

The appropriate method for reporting illegal business practices depends on the type of misconduct observed and the agency responsible for investigating it. The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, for example, cites consumer fraud and other illegal acts on its website as being within its purview. Other types of crimes should, of course, be reported to the agency charged with enforcing the relevant law.

On its official website, the FTC claims responsibility for investigating allegations of unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. These include false advertising, "Do Not Call" violations and identity theft. The information thus obtained is shared with law enforcement.

Crimes relating to hiring and employment practices are the responsibility of the EEOC. As stated on the Commission's website, crimes investigated by the EEOC include discrimination on the basis of age, race and sex, as well as unfair or deceptive labor practices.

Perhaps the most comprehensive list of white-collar crimes to be investigated is maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. According to the FBI, the Bureau handles financial fraud cases, money laundering allegations and accusations of piracy and other copyright infringement. Reporting suspicions related to any of these offenses can usually be done either by filling out an online form or by calling a toll-free number. Many agencies also maintain field offices in major cities.


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