Fraud Victim Advocacy - FREE On line Fraud Victim Consulting
Well-Researched Anti-Fraud Education Since 1999
How to Write an Effective Fraud Report
NOTE: This report can be adapted to any situation.
A correctly organized and written fraud report cuts down on the time required to catch the con artist and provides a solid base for the Prosecution.
The authorities want to know exactly
> What happened.
> Where it happened.
> How it happened.
> When it happened and in what sequence.
> Who was and is involved.
You must be properly prepared to speak with the authorities or valuable time and leads will be lost.
Correctly assembled, a concise and organized account of what happened is your most valuable asset. This account, or report, is called a Narrative.
The better prepared and written the narrative, the faster law enforcement agencies can act to apprehend the con artist.
You must be prepared to stand on your narrative. It will be used as a reference for your deposition. Both the Prosecution and the Defense will refer to your narrative, and it will be used in court.
A narrative if fact listings document. It is not a novel. It is not the place for any emotion other than those emotions that caused you to take a certain action. Nobody cares if you said or did something you might consider stupid. It is not up to you to determine what may or may not be important or relevant. All events are to be entered into your narrative down the best detail and the bitterest detail.
Every statement in your narrative must be truthful. If it is not, this will come out at some time during the investigative process, during your deposition, or even worse - in court.
Your narrative must be so solid that if you cannot remember what you wrote, can state with a clear conscience, "If I wrote that in my narrative, then that's the way it must have happened." If your conscience is not clear, it will be noticed.
If you cannot remember a detail or event write, "I don't remember." If you remember parts of an event, but the actual play by play is foggy write, "To the best of my recollection."
FOR BEST RESULTS, FOLLOW THE STEPS IN THE ORDER GIVEN
You will need
THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP:
RECOGNIZE AND LIST YOUR ITEMS OF PROOF
Step 1: DOCUMENTS / ITEMS OF PROOF
1. Gather together every document you have that is involved in the swindle.
DON'T YOU EVER, EVER WRITE ANYTHING DIRECTLY ON THE ITEMS OF PROOF OR EVER, EVER STAPLE ITEMS OF PROOF. DO NOT FOLD ITEMS OF PROOF ONCE YOU BEGIN THIS PROCESS!
2. Items of Proof are:
3. Put the documents in chronological order, i.e. in the order in which each document was received by you or sent by you, or by date of origin.
4. Using Post-It Notes (law enforcement will add their own tags), tag each document (by date received or originated) with the item of Proof number beginning with Exhibit 1. Be careful not to cover any text, writing, or images with the Post-It Notes. If covering text or images is inevitable, cover as little as possible.
5. Items of Proof List:
6. Place your Items of Proof and the its list in the ITEMS OF PROOF envelope.
LISTING NAMES AND CONTACTS:
GIVE THE AUTHORITIES AN IMMEDIATE TRAIL TO FOLLOW
Step 2: NAMES and CONTACTS
1. Place your name, address, and telephone number(s) at the top left of the page.
2. Skip at least 2 lines and enter the date.
3. Make a list of every name you heard in connection with the investment. Be sure to include (whenever possible)
4. You can organize the names and contacts by the sequence in each person appeared during the scam, or you can make an alphabetic list, or preferably both. The important thing is to provide as much contact information as possible on each individual.
5. Place your list (unfolded) in the WORKING COPY envelope.
A "DRAGNET-STYLE" CHAIN OF EVENTS CLARIFIES
FOR YOU AND FOR THE AUTHORITIES
Step 3: CHAIN OF EVENTS
1. Place your name, address, and telephone number(s) at the top left of the page.
2. Skip at least 2 lines and enter the date.
3. Skip at least 2 lines and enter date and time scam began.
Example: DATE SCAM INITIATED: MONDAY, JUNE 12, 19__, ~ 8PM (where ~ stands for "approximately")
4. Skip at least two lines and state the name of the scam. This is will be the name of your narrative.
Example: John Swindle Investment Group
5. Begin listing all the events that led to the fraud, occurred during the fraud, occurred to deter you from making contact with the authorities, led you to bring friends and relatives in to the fraud, everything little thing you can think of (keep it short and to the point).
At this point, chronological order is not as important as getting the events listed. As long as you make note of the dates and times, you can put everything in the sequence when you write the narrative.
"Joe Blow" EXAMPLE:
My name is Bill Victim. Social Security Number 012 34 5678. I am 58 years old. I have lived at 123 E. Main St., Anytown, USA for the last 10 years. Married to wife Elizabeth for 25 years. Retired, living on investment and pension income. Amount invested in scheme: $150,000. total over a period of 12 weeks.
Monday, 12 June, ~ 8pm: Introduced by Joe Blow to John Swindle at Lomita Country Club. Have known Blow for 5 years - fellow church member. Blow told me he met Swindle at church rally sometime in May. Discussed: possibility of interesting investment, general layout of investment, the types of returns available. Blow told me he had put money in and gotten back good returns. Blow, Swindle, and I agreed to meet for lunch on Wed. 6/14/19 to review specifics.
Tuesday, 13 June, 10am: Received call from Swindle confirming lunch for following day. Swindle told me investment is for privileged investors only. Must have invitation to join. Would explain more at lunch on Wed.
Wednesday, 14 June, 11:30am: Met Blow and Swindle at Wild Boar, 001 E. Sunset Blvd., Big City. Investment scheme explained as follows: _____________
Friday, 16 June, 10:30am: State Bank, 345 Same St., Anytown. Placed order for transfer of funds from
ACCOUNT NAME : Elizabeth and Bill Victim
ACCOUNT NUMBER :#020-56359324
TO : Foreign Bank
St. Swizzle Branch
345 Grand St.
ACCOUNT NAME : Swindle Investment Trust
ACCOUNT # : 033-7856-8888
TRANSFER AMOUNT : $100,000.00
TRANSFER METHOD : Fedwire
TRANSFER #: (Fedwire number)
ATTACHMENTS : instructions (if any, describe - these could be instructions to the receiving bank or receiving account holder. For more information, see Wire Transfer Systems
5. Continue in this manner until you have told the whole story in short sentences. No excuses, no emotion at any time. Just the facts! You will be able to elaborate on various areas when you write the Narrative.
6. Place your Chain of Events List, UNFOLDED, in the WORKING COPY envelope.
ACCURATE, TRUTHFUL INFORMATION IS YOUR BEST DEFENSE
AND YOUR ONLY ASSET
Step 4: IF YOU ARE THE MIDDLEMAN TO A FRAUD
If you are not a middleman, please skip to Step 6.
The #1 MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO is to provide law enforcement with accurate, truthful information about all events, in chronological order. If you have not already done so, please turn to What to do if you discover you are the middleman to a fraud on page 22 and read carefully. Then come back here.
Don't worry if you have delayed your call to the authorities. It is completely understandable, but it is a good idea to explain why you delayed. You will be asked.
Depending on the events that led to your participation you may very well be considered a victim.
Read Know Your Miranda Rights and How to Use Them http://fraudaid.com/How-To-Deal-With-Having-Been-Conned/miranda_rights.htm, and seek legal counsel immediately if you feel you are at risk of arrest!
The following is not to be considered legal counsel under any circumstances!
Participants as described above are usually considered to be victims. HOWEVER, it is extremely important to seek legal counsel on these issues as attitudes vary depending on local, regional, and federal law enforcement, local laws, prosecutors, and judges. See the author's story of being a middleman, Who The Heck is Annie McGuire www.fraudaid.com/about.htm.
EXCEPTION: Most financial frauds are based on a Ponzi scheme wherein primary investors are sent a portion of the funds deposited by subsequent investors, or even sent a portion of their own investment funds disguised as profits. This is to persuade the primary investors that there is money to be made so that these primary investors will bring more people and more money into the deal. At some point, usually after the second or third receipt of "profits", the returns dry up. This is when the swindlers start giving all their excuses. See below, 12 Swindler Excuses For Not Returning Your Money.
If investors have already called the authorities, or if you discover that an investigation has been initiated, it is extremely important that you find out the name and telephone number of the officer or agent in charge, then call him or her yourself.
DO THIS IMMEDIATELY, EVEN IF YOU ARE SCARED OUT OF YOUR WITS.
If you feel you need an attorney, by all means call one for advice. This is called a Consult. This does not mean that you really need an attorney, and it is not an admission of guilt.
In some states, and under certain conditions, an attorney is not required unless you are advised of your rights and/or arrested, HOWEVER, please read Know Your Miranda Rights and How to Use Them: http://fraudaid.com/How-To-Deal-With-Having-Been-Conned/miranda_rights.htm.
If you're at the end of your financial tether, you may not want to incur the expense of a criminal attorney unless you are certain it will be necessary.
Please remember that the state will always provide free legal counsel should you ask for it. (Please read Know Your Miranda Rights and How to Use Them now, http://fraudaid.com/How-To-Deal-With-Having-Been-Conned/miranda_rights.htm then come back here.)
Writing your narrative:
Go back to the Joe Blow example. "Joe Blow" is the middleman in the fraud perpetrated on "Bill Victim."
Your narrative is to be written from the perspective of "Joe Blow", detailing any events that led up to your first meeting with the swindler, what exactly made you get involved with the swindler, and the part or parts you played in bringing victims to the swindler.
Remember - one lie can cost you everything because it will be found out. If you don't remember an event, write "I don't remember ...." If you are unsure of an event but remember some details, write "To the best of my recollection..."
Do not fake anything, don't make up anything. It will ruin you.
THE NARRATIVE IS THE FLOW OF EVENTS AND A IS VERY IMPORTANT TOOL FOR THE PROSECUTION
Where the Chain of Events presents only the bald facts, the Narrative paints a picture
Each is a tool law enforcement will use to apprehend and prosecute the bad guys; each is important in its own way.
Step 5: WRITING THE NARRATIVE and ASSEMBLY
If you have a word processor on your computer or a typewriter, that’s great. If you don't, please print your narrative in pen - NO LONGHAND, NO PENCIL.
Following your notes and without emotion (in writing, anyway) begin to write down the sequence of events as you remember them.
If you don't have a word processor (Word 97, Works, Excel...), then use your yellow pad. Don't worry about spelling, grammar, syntax, or context. You're not writing a novel. You are telling the story of what happened to you as succinctly as possible, in your own words.
DO NOT TRY TO MAKE THIS LOOK AS IF AN ATTORNEY WROTE IT, that will only make you look silly to the authorities and will undermine your credibility.
DO NOT GET SOMEONE ELSE TO MAKE IT LOOK GOOD, that doesn't go over well with the authorities because it leaves doubt in their minds: Are these your words, or somebody else's? Is this what really happened, or is this how someone else thinks it should have happened?
TITLE PAGE (cover page):
COMPLAINT AGAINST (John Swindle Group)
Your email address
Your telephone number(s)
Title: SECTION I. This section will contain your Items of Proof List. You can add notes to the different items as you go along. In your narrative, you will refer to each Item of Proof as Exhibit # so and so.
Title: SECTION II. This section will contain your Names and Contacts List. In your narrative, you will refer to Section II-(1,2,3, whichever applies)
Title: SECTION III. This section will contain an elaboration of the Chain of Events. Maintain chronological order at all times.
Title: SECTION IV. This section contains all your items of proof tagged and in chronological order.
EXAMPLE: NOTICE HOW EACH STATEMENT IS NUMBERED WITH A DOUBLE SPACE BETWEEN THE STATEMENTS.
NOTICE THAT THE DATES ARE IN BOLD. IF YOU ARE USING PEN AND PAD, UNDERLINE THE DATES.
WILLIAM (BILL) VICTIM
123 Main Street
Office: n/a (retired)
Date fraud was initiated: Monday, 12 June, 19__
Amount lost: $150,000.
Date of last funds transfer: Thursday, 5 October, 19__
John Pierre Swindle, PhD.
123 Looie Street
Las Vegas, NV 00002
Phone: (123) 555-3456
1. My wife, Elizabeth, and I live on a fixed income of $_______________________ from (brokerage house) investments and pension funds. We are both retired and enjoy playing golf, so we joined the Lomita Country Club.
2. On Monday, June 12th, we attended a dinner sponsored by the club. Cocktails were served beginning at 7pm because dinner wasn't until 8:30pm. Elizabeth and I arrived around 7:30, had one cocktail apiece, and chatted with our friends.
3. Around 8pm Jim Blow, a friend of ours from church, introduced me to his new friend Dr. Swindle. Jim told me that Dr. Swindle is an investment counselor, and that he had made good profits by investing with him. We shook hands and Dr. Swindle gave me his business card. (Exhibit 1) I am always interested in making more money to bolster our retirement fund. Even though our house is almost paid for, our children sometimes need help and our youngest is in graduate school. Very expensive.
4. Swindle started to tell me about his investment system. He told me he runs an exclusive investment club, and that by using a secret system known only to a very select group, his club has been able to realize profits of up to 300% per year. He said that Jim Blow is a trusted club member, and that he (Swindle) would trust anyone Jim recommended. Swindle began to elaborate a bit about currency exchanges and bank guarantees when the dinner bell rang. We agreed to meet for lunch on Wednesday the 14th.
5. The following morning, Tuesday the 13th, I received a call from Swindle. This must have been at 10am because I was just getting ready to take the dog for a walk, which I do at the same time every day. Swindle was very courteous, apologized for calling at an inconvenient time, and said he wanted to confirm the luncheon meeting scheduled for the following day. He asked me if The Wild Boar would be okay, and asked if I would be his guest. The Wild Boar is the most expensive place in town, so I readily agreed. I mean, if this fellow is so successful, let him pick up the tab and prove it.
6. and so on to up to the time you call the authorities.
7. Number your pages as follows: Page X of Y (Y being the total number of pages)
8. MAKE A COPY for your records
ASSEMBLY: In an envelope labeled NARRATIVE, (your name, address, phone(s) and date) - assemble in this order and give to your officer or agent-in-charge.
Cover (Title page)
Section I - Items of Proof List
Section II - Name and Contacts
Section III - Narrative
Section IV - Copies of all your Items of Proof in chronological order
MAKE COPIES OF EVERYTHING, AND DO IT RIGHT.
YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID.
Step 6: MAKING COPIES
"Date ______. This is an addendum to (name of your narrative), dated ___________."
NOW THAT YOU HAVE ASSEMBLED YOUR NARRATIVE,
IT'S TIME TO CALL THE RIGHT LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.
Step 7: CONTACTING THE AUTHORITIES, LAW ENFORCEMENT JURISDICTIONS
Jurisdiction is based on the type of crime and where the crime took place.
NOTE: Regardless of the country in which you live, before filing a complaint with a foreign agency you must first file a complaint with your local police. The complaint number, police station name, address, phone number, and the investigating officer's name are vital for international correspondence. If you do not supply this information, you will be directed to call back when the information is available. Example: if you have a complaint against a US citizen, you must first file a police report at your local police station, and then call the FBI or Secret Service or other appropriate US enforcement agency.
BEFORE CONTACTING THE AUTHORITIES it is very important to determine the jurisdiction of your complaint. For instance, the Secret Service or SEC will not provide as much action for a cross state lines consumer fraud as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) since consumer fraud falls under the jurisdiction of the FTC.
By reporting your complaint to the proper authority at the outset, you gain speed of action, correct information, and experienced case agents.
Not all branches of law enforcement are aware of the complexities of all scams, nor are they all aware of the specialties of the different branches of law enforcement.
In other words, you may inadvertently hand your case over to a division that handles fraud, but not necessarily the kind of fraud you are reporting.
Since each officer and division wants credit for solving crimes, this could mean that your case will be handled by an officer to the best of his or her ability, but not as efficiently as it would be if the case were handled by an officer who has vast experience and back-up for the type of fraud you are reporting.
Always ask first: "Are you familiar with this type of fraud and do you normally investigate this type of fraud?"
It is also important to understand that jurisdictions overlap. Before reporting a fraud, it is a good idea to consult the local offices of law enforcement available to you to determine their area of expertise.
It's important to understand that you may have to submit your report to more than one enforcement agency before finding an investigator who will take it; however, try not to submit your report to more than one agency within your country at the same time. This will only cause jurisdiction confusion and will not advance your case at all.
If you are having difficulty being heard by law enforcement, please contact Fraud Aid.
Once you have determined which branch of law enforcement to call, telephone and say "I am reporting a financial fraud." They will ask you a few particulars, including the amount involved, your address, phone number, and will probably ask you to come down to the office and meet with a specific investigator. Depending on the situation, they may come to you.
DON'T LET ALL YOUR HARD WORK GET LOST IN THE SHUFFLE:
RECEIPTS FOR YOUR DOCUMENTATION WILL SAVE YOU HEADACHES LATER ON
Step 8: GETTING RECEIPTS, WHAT TO DO
Know Your Miranda Rights or Warning
And How to Use Them
Miranda Rights: What do to and what not to do
Law enforcement and the fraud victim as a suspect
You and your attorney
Fraud victim arrestees come to us having waived their Miranda Rights or Warning, sometimes having unwittingly made self-incriminating statements to law enforcement.
None realize that this is what they did. None realize that they have caused themselves additional harm.
There is never any guarantee that justice will prevail in the way the fraud victim arrestee expects. In those instances where the victim has waived his Miranda Rights, unwinding the damage and achieving justice for that victim is almost impossible.
Interview: the period of questioning by law enforcement investigators prior to arrest. You have no obligation to consent to an interview, nor should you feel at any time that you are under arrest during an interview. You should be able to leave at any time. Law enforcement must inform you that you are free to go, and there must not be any physical obstacles between you and the exit door nor any impediments to your departure.
Interrogation: the period of questioning by law enforcement investigators after the reading of the Miranda Rights or Warning and proper arrest.
Person of Interest: you may have frequently heard this term in the news. It is normal Justice Department parlance for subjects of investigation and includes 'suspect', 'subject' and 'target'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_of_interest
If you are termed a "Person of Interest" and the police want to interview you, STOP. You need an attorney present to protect you from making unintentional self-incriminating statements.
These are the Miranda Rights or Warning
as dictated by Miranda vs.Arizona
In the absence of other effective measures the following procedures to safeguard the Fifth Amendment privilege must be observed:
The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him.
Continued on next page
Know Your Miranda Rights or Warning and How to Use Them, Continued
This is the text of the Miranda Rights or Warning that must be read to you upon arrest,
and how the text should read on the document you sign stating that you understand those rights:
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney during interrogation; if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
1. "You have the right to remain silent" means KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. It's not called a Warning for nothing. You may safely state the following:
(a) Your name.
(b) Your address.
(c) Your Social Security Number if asked.
(d) "I invoke my 5th Amendment right to an attorney."
Invoking your Rights is not an admission of guilt. It just means that you are smart enough to call an expert for advice.
2. "Anything you say will be used against you in a court of law" means that anything you say will be used against you in court. You can count on it.
3. "You have the right to an attorney during interrogation" sounds as if you can invoke your right to an attorney at any time during the interrogation. Don't count on it and don't bet on it. Ask for an attorney before the interrogation.
4. "But I don't need an attorney! I didn't do anything wrong!" is the most disastrous phrase a fraud victim/middleman can say to law enforcement detectives, because it tells the detectives that they can use all interrogation techniques at their disposal without the presence of advising counsel to warn you to keep your mouth shut.
Fraud victims who are arrested are always an emotional disaster area, frightened, confused, angry, and not thinking straight. In other words, your state of mind and emotional turmoil make you ideal for interrogation.
Law enforcement works for the prosecution. If you are considered a suspect in a crime, the police are not on your side, even if you are a fellow law enforcement officer.
No matter who you are, no matter what your job title is, from President of a major corporation, to law enforcement, to professional, to housewife, to politician, to business owner, to Hollywood star, to college student, during an interrogation the police are not your friends, no matter how they act.
Law enforcement and the fraud victim as a suspect:
The police do not interview a person about his or her participation or knowledge of a crime unless that person is suspected of having committed a crime or been a participant in the commission of a crime.
Participation means having an active involvement in, or purposely unreported knowledge of, the crime before, during, or after it was committed. The legal terms are Accessory Before the Fact, Accessory During the Fact, and Accessory After the Fact
Fraud is a theft crime, sometimes only State, sometimes only Federal, sometimes both.
If you are a fraud victim contacted by the police:
1. Unless you are witnessed committing a crime by someone at the scene or by law enforcement, and the arrest if proximate to the crime, you cannot be arrested without an arrest warrant signed by a judge. You have a right to read the warrant, and you have the right to a copy of the warrant.
2. Do not accompany the police anywhere until you are properly arrested and have been read your Miranda Rights or Warning. Merely state that you "respectfully decline." If all they want to do is talk to you, they can do so where you are at that moment or at your home.
If the police are agreeable to an interview at your location of choice, do not speak to them without a witness and, if possible, a tape recorder in plain view Say, "Do you mind if I tape this conversation?" If the police object to either the witness or the tape recorder, respectfully decline the interview.
You do not have an obligation to accompany the police to their offices, and we don't recommend that you do unless you're going to be looking at mug shots.
Your legal protections don't start until you are placed under arrest. You have no legal protection until that moment.
3. Once you have been read your Miranda Rights or Warning, SHUT UP.
4. If you are asked to sign a document agreeing that you have been read your rights and understand them, STOP. Read the document slowly and carefully. Take your time.
Make very sure the document doesn't also contain a waiver of your Miranda Rights and if it does, make very sure you are signing on the correct line. Place your finger, not an X, on the correct line and sign your name next to your finger.
5. Immediately invoke your right to private consultation with your attorney, court-appointed or otherwise.
6. Do not under any circumstances, sign any document between the time you have read your Miranda Rights or Warning and the time you consult with your attorney except:
Remember this: Once you waive your rights, you cannot get them back!
1. NEVER WAIVE ANY RIGHTS. Do not, under any circumstances, waive your Miranda Rights. Keep your mouth shut. Do not start talking. If you hear yourself talking, stop it. It is possible that if you start answering questions, it may be construed by the District Attorney's Office that you waived your rights.
8. Invoking your Miranda Rights does not mean you will go to jail. No one can advise you that if you do not waive your rights, you will go to jail. That is against the law. It may be termed Intentional Infliction of Emotional or Mental Distress. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_infliction_of_emotional_distress
9. No one can truthfully say, "It will go easier on you if you don't ask for an attorney." That is a myth created in Hollywood. Only a jury can decide your fate.
10. Law and Order and NYPD Blue are not real life. Do not make life-altering decisions based on what you have seen on those shows.
Detectives interview and interrogate bad guys all day every day. They study interview techniques, interviewing psychology, body language, tone of voice and phrases to watch for, discrepancies and changes in answers. It is their job to elicit a confession of guilt or to elicit incriminating statements from suspects.
They are as skilled at their job as the scammer is who talked you into the fraud. You are a fish out of water. You can incriminate yourself in the blink of an eye with a statement you believe will absolve you of all guilt. Just keep your mouth shut!
The Constitution guarantees the presumption of innocence. In too many jurisdictions and in too many circumstances the investigating detectives operate under the presumption of guilt.
You and your attorney:
You and your attorney are a team. He is not the master. You do not simply nod your head up and down like a bobble toy at everything he says. You must actively participate in your own defense.
There is no such thing as a stupid question. The rest of your life is at stake. If you do not completely and clearly understand a statement and the consequences of that statement, do not agree until you do.
Demand of your attorney that he ask for broad discovery, as broad as you can make it. Broad discovery means any and all information and documents held by the prosecution that pertain to your case. You cannot mount an intelligent defense if you do not know what you are up against.
No one has the right to take away your right to a trail by a jury of your peers. You can give it up (plea bargain) but no one else can take it away from you. It is a Constitutional Right.
Pleading out, i.e. pleading to a lesser charge means that you are turning your fate over to the very people whose job it is to put you in prison. If you are not guilty of any charges, don't agree that you are.
If your attorney, public defender or otherwise, pleads you out without your full understanding of the consequences, don't do it. What you are doing is entering a guilty plea. Make sure you understand the plea and all its consequences.
The alternative is a trial by a jury of 12 impartial men and women who have no vested interest in the outcome and no hidden agenda.
how to deal with both law enforcement and the fraud victims
You may call yourself a middleman, financial consultant, agent, intermediary or broker. You may or may not be licensed. You may be a victim of a con artist, or an active participant in a scam. Regardless of the circumstances, both the victims and law enforcement will be looking to you for an explanation.
1. Con artists, especially those who deal in financial fraud on a big scale, love to put their prime targets in the middle. This means that you were talked into bringing money belonging to others into the scheme.
2. The best defense is a good offense: go to the authorities before they come to you.
3. Gather together every piece of evidence you can find, including names, addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, documents of every kind, notes, records of phone conversations, etc. and make copies. The authorities may want the originals, or the copies may be okay.
The evidence may clearly show that you were duped.
DO NOT INVENT EVIDENCE. DO NOT TELL EVEN THE WHITEST OF LIES. IF YOU CAN'T REMEMBER SOMETHING, SAY SO.
Your credibility is not just your most important asset, it’s your only asset.
Don't screw it up.
Interviewers can tell if you're lying - they take courses in it.
4. Call each investor involved and tell them what you are doing. Send it in writing, registered mail, return receipt requested. Remember: open communication is extremely important.
5. Some investors may try to talk you out of going to the authorities because they are afraid of losing their money. If the scam has gone far enough, you will have to explain to the investors that you believe their funds are lost. Not an easy task. Bite the bullet and make all your calls. You may not be able to see it right now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
6. Ask the authorities if they want you to maintain contact with the swindler; however, if you are involved in any other similar network, cease that activity immediately.
7. You may or may not need an attorney. Usually it is not necessary unless you are being read your rights, but depending on your circumstances and what you need to feel comfortable, having an attorney present during the initial interview is okay. Please turn to page 17, Know Your Miranda Rights and How to Use Them now.
8. I was the middleman in a High-Yield Investment Program fraud. The thoroughness of my report saved my life. (see About the Author, www.fraudaid.com/about.htm)
THE 12 MOST COMMON EXCUSES USED BY SWINDLERS FOR NOT RETURNING YOUR MONEY
So far, this is what may have happened:
Not one of these excuses is acceptable
Any one of them is cause for you to be suspicious