Network News: Summer 2018

July 2018
Volume 11| Issue 3
Having trouble viewing this email? View it online.

Consumer Sentinal Network

Microsoft Technical Support Complaints

Tech Suport

We are working with Microsoft Corporation to import consumer complaints it receives about technical support and other scams from its Report a Scam page.  This project will immediately add more than 150,000 relevant complaints to Sentinel and then provide a data feed that includes approximately 10,000 new complaints per month.  Remember that you can search for complaints submitted by specific data contributors in Advanced Search or by using the Complaint Source navigator found on the lower left side bar in the Search Results page.  Although Microsoft will not provide consumer PII, a message on the complaints will inform you how to request the information from Microsoft.         

New Feature

Your downloads are expiring, and you want a quick extension?  Sentinel has a solution. When your downloads are over 90 days old, you will be prompted to view the Delete/Renew Downloads page.  From this page, you can select and renew downloads for another 90 days if you need them for active law enforcement purposes.  But if you do not need the files, delete them!  Find your download files by navigating to: Search Tools menu > Downloads table > My Searches.



If you missed the spring Advanced Training sessions, please join us for a Sentinel Advanced Training Session on Thursday, July 12th at 2 PM EST.  This one-hour session will focus on the Spotlight and Explore Complaint Relationships features.  If you are new to Sentinel, Basic Training will be on Wednesday, July 11th at 12 PM EST.  Simply email to reserve a spot for either session.  

Need quicker help?  There is a short online video when you log in, as well as various tipsheets in the Help section.  We particularly recommend the tipsheets on Search, Download, Spotlights, and Graph Analytics.  

New Product Service Codes

The product service codes are the Sentinel complaint categories that define the good or service offered to a consumer.  Starting this summer, we are adding new codes about technical products and services, such as broadband access, connected devices, digital media, malware, and negative online reviews.  Please note that this may have an impact on your existing Spotlights.

Did You Know?


Want to search several phone numbers at once?  You can do so in Advanced Search, using up to 500 phone numbers in a horizontal row with spaces between them.  We recommend doing this in the “Search Across All Fields” option and in any of the following formats: 8001234567, 800-1234567, or 800-123-4567.  

Operation Main Street

The Federal Trade Commission, jointly with the offices of eight state Attorneys General, the New York Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, two U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), announced the results of Operation Main Street: Stopping Small Business Scams.  This law enforcement initiative targeted entities seeking to defraud small businesses, and launched an education outreach effort to help small businesses protect themselves from fraud.

The agencies announced a total of 24 actions against defendants who allegedly perpetrated scams against small businesses, including one new FTC case, three other FTC actions from the past six months, two criminal actions announced by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and 18 actions by state Attorneys General over the past year.

The BBB is announcing a new research report on small business scams that provides substantial new insights into how fraud affects small businesses. In addition, the FTC and the BBB are pleased to announce new business education materials, designed to help small business owners and their employees avoid, identify and report scams.

Protecting Devices From Cryptojacking

The FTC again warned consumers of the dangers of cryptojacking.  In cryptojacking, scammers can use your computer’s processing power to “mine” cryptocurrency, which can be converted into cash.  Here are some consumer education tips to protect yourself from the malicious code that can infect your device.

Consumer Sentinel Network

Learn more about Consumer Sentinel at

To join Consumer Sentinel, visit

Comments, questions, or kudos? Email