This is a topic that bugs me for quite a long time, being part of the admin team and having to approve queued posts. Also, the recent legal issues and litigation made this topic really important so that’s why I want to address it here and now.
1. It is crucial to post evidence of scam
How did you find the number?
Why do you think the number you want to post should be posted here?
What’s the justification?
Is it a scam? If yes, why so? If no or you are unsure, indicate that and ask for other members to investigate this number in the post.
Provide substantial information and evidence when you create the post!
The reason being is that it’s hard for us moderators to see if that’s just some stupid kid trying to get prank calls on his school or if it’s really a scammer number. And then also because of legal reasons: If we’re getting hit by lawyers and lawsuits regarding posts on the website we need to be able to prove that the number / website posted is or was indeed involved in scam. If we have evidence posted, then we can simply reply back to the lawyer / company that we will not remove the post, end of the story. But posts without evidence make it very hard for us and require detailed investigations which sucks for everyone involved.
If you don’t have evidence, at least post indicators of scam or why you think this number is a scam.
Examples of what counts as evidence:
- a tech support scam popup link/screenshot
- a website impersonating brand xyz
- a user stating that their number is on the national DNC registry and still they received a robocall from this number
- a link to the number on RoboKiller or Nomorobo that states this number is a known robocaller
2. It is crucial to preserve evidence
Even if you post evidence, it may be that the scammers notice your post here and then remove it, e.g. take down the popup or their website. To counteract this, preserve the evidence so that even if they take it down, we can show evidence.
You can do this by choosing at least one of the following options:
Save a screenshot of the popup/evidence that you think warrants the scam. You can post screenshots by uploading them e.g. to imgur.com and then posting the direct link to the .jpg or .png into the field that comes up when you select “Add an image” or post it like this. Example:
Archive websites. By saving them, you create a 1:1 copy in the archive which can be accessed at any time, even if the original website has been removed. Important archives are Wayback Machine and Archive.is
There are also sites like https://urlscan.io/ that are somewhat in the middle. They take a screenshot automatically (just the first screen though, not full page) and collect other information. You can use that as well, depending on the context. Just make sure that you save what you want to save.
3. Use titles that make sense
Remember that the titles are what also show in the Google result when people search for the phone number so choose something that makes sense like “scam type - phone number”. Use titles that make sense so that users directly know what kind of scammer it is by reading the title only.
Reason: The person did not even fill the basic field that are in the post by default. There is no context to the number, no website or anything that would indicate if this is a scam or not or which company / call center it is. It could be a legitimate company as well… The title is good though.
Reason: The company name is in the title as well as the type of scam is in the title. The post contains all details and different phone numbers, websites and is well organized and formatted. With that post, even in the future I have evidence of this company breaking the Telephone Consumer Protection Act which justifies their number being posted on here.
Failing to comply with the rules can result in your post being rejected and receiving a warning, your account getting temporarily banned or in severe cases when a user posts a legitimate number intentionally, perma banned.