Work at home job scams:
Payment Processing, Shipping, Check
Writing, Western Union, MoneyGram, more...
YOUR CHECK LIABILITY:
How to really verify a check, money order, traveler's check,
cashier's check, etc.
Your ID Theft Prevention To-Do List
Threats from scammers:
What to do and how to do it
WHERE TO REPORT A SCAM:
Choosing the right jurisdiction
Page 1 -
Law Enforcement Jurisdictions:
US City, Town, and County
Foreign & International
Helping to defray the expenses of a
fraud investigation at no cost to you
The biggest obstacle
evidence that demonstrates intent
Losses to a group of
Your role as a scam
victim or someone who has knowledge of a scam being
perpetrated on others
You can contact any law enforcement
agency anywhere in the world to report a
fraud. That doesn't mean you will
Not every law enforcement jurisdiction
Some jurisdictions only investigate
certain frauds over certain loss
This guide will lead you to the right
place or places to report fraud.
Helping to defray the expenses of a fraud
investigation at no cost to you
One way to help defray that cost and the man
hours required to run an investigation is to provide Federal
law enforcement or local police with a well-written
narrative and solid evidence (see
How to Write a
For fraud victims, solid evidence normally
consist of court-presentable documents received from the
scammer in hard copy or as an email
attachment where the source of the email can be proven
to Find Full Headers in Your Email Service).
Depending on the rules of evidence in the
jurisdiction running the investigation, audio and video
tapes may also be considered court-presentable and at the
very least may be considered fraud predicate.
Fraud predicate means there is enough
information and evidence to warrant opening an
The less time investigators have to spend on
developing investigative leads the faster they can determine
where to look next and what kind of evidence they can expect
Together, your fraud narrative and evidence
help law enforcement decide if you have a case, if your case
can stand on its own or if more victims and evidence are
needed, which direction to go to collect further evidence,
The biggest obstacle for investigators
The biggest challenge for investigators is
the lack of evidence. Regardless of the jurisdiction,
investigators need every piece of evidence possible, and
many scam victims have a habit of destroying contracts,
emails, certificates, notes, contact information, and other
documentary evidence that can aid in the prosecution of the
scammer. Documentary evidence can even outweigh personal
testimony because it provides the
proof that backs up the victim's claims.
evidence that demonstrates intent
Recognizing evidence, evidence categories,
and the rules of evidence comprise an entire course designed
There is solid evidence, supporting evidence,
hearsay, rumor, and personal opinion. Each can play a role
in gaining the interest of an investigative office, but not
all evidence is court admissible. The more solid your
evidence, i.e. items that the defense will find difficult or
impossible to argue away, the better the chance you have of
seeing justice prevail.
The best evidence is evidence that clearly
shows intent to defraud. Contracts / agreements are
important, especially if they contain the signature of the
scammer; by the same token, the lack of a contract in
certain scams can be just as damning. Correspondence from
the scammer, hard copy or email, that defines the offer is
always a good source for pinpointing the scammer's
To save you time and unnecessary research, we
have taken an excerpt from
How to Write a
Narrative to give you an idea of what is required by law
enforcement to open an investigation. In no way is the list
below complete. When in doubt, ask the investigator what he
wants to see.
received from the swindler.
Documents you sent to the swindler or
Letters you have written to the swindler
or other investors.
Telephone bills with pertinent telephone
numbers and number addresses highlighted.
Bank account statements, domestic and/or
Copies, faxes, or Photostats sent or
Any memos, scribbling on envelopes,
calendar pages, etc. Date and/or schedule books, hard
back or computer-generated.
Powers of Attorney, Letters of Intent,
Letters of Interest, Proof of Funds, instructions,
Non-Circumvention Non-Disclosures, disbursement
schedules, profit schedules, Cease and Desist Orders,
copies of telexes, copies of Letters of Credit, Standby
Letters of Credit, Guarantees, insurance bonds, etc.
CD's, diskettes, audio tapes, brochures,
or video tapes that were used as part of the scam.
Any instructions to or from the swindler
or others, instructions to banks, attorneys, trustees,
Emails with the
Email attachments - documents, photos,
Wire transfer receipts - bank-to-bank,
Western Union, Moneygram, etc.
Envelopes, boxes, packages sent to you by
Payment receipts, contracts, agreements,
Web site addresses, chat rooms addresses
Losses to a group of scam victims
When losses occur to a group of scam victims,
the loss total can meet or exceed the enforcement office's
Forming a solid coalition of victims of the
same scammer can be an arduous task. Some group members
don't want to be bothered with reporting the scam while
others are afraid to report the scam for fear of losing
their money (which
is long gone, an impossible admission
for most fraud victims) ) or because of something in their
life they believe will be uncovered in the investigation, or
because their spouse doesn't know their money has been lost.
Even counting the naysayers, there are
usually enough victims in a scammed group who are
sufficiently angry to add their loss amount and evidence to
As long as the group victims can hold
together long enough to submit their story and evidence,
group complaints are usually very successful, often more so
than an individual complaints because more evidence can be
Your role as a scam victim or someone who
has knowledge of a scam being perpetrated on others
Even though scam investigations can be very
costly to enforcement agencies, and even though those
agencies may face serious obstacles and challenges in their
investigations, your knowledge, tips, patience, and evidence
go a long way toward facilitating the investigation, the
arrest, and the conviction of scammers worldwide.
can't do it without you.