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Choosing the right law enforcement agency

to file your scam report

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Jurisdictions Menu


Navigating the system

Definition of jurisdiction

Definition of fraud with intent 

Jurisdiction specialties 

Inter-jurisdiction challenges 

Inter-jurisdiction cooperation 

The cost of a fraud investigation   

Helping to defray the expenses of a fraud investigation at no cost to you

The biggest obstacle for investigators

Understanding fraud evidence that demonstrates intent 

Losses to a group of scam victims

Your role as a scam victim or someone who has knowledge of a scam being perpetrated on others



Local Enforcement:

US city, borough, or township

County sheriffs

State enforcement:

State Attorney General's Office

State Attorney's Office

Office of the Secretary of State

State's Bureau of Investigation

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Federal Enforcement:

Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI

Secret Service

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Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

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Overseas & International Enforcement:


Scotland Yard  

The UK's Serious Fraud Office 

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP - Mounties)

The National White Collar Crime Centre of Canada (NW4C) 


Secret Service Overseas  

FBI Overseas


Internet Fraud Complaint Center 

Internet Better Business Bureau

National Fraud Information Center  

SEC Internet Enforcement Program






Work at home job scams: Payment Processing, Shipping, Check Writing, Western Union, MoneyGram, more...


Lottery Scams


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

Intro: Page 1 - Page 2

Law Enforcement Jurisdictions:

US City, Town, and County  US State  US Federal  Foreign & International  Internet


This page:

Helping to defray the expenses of a fraud investigation at no cost to you

The biggest obstacle for investigators

Understanding fraud evidence that demonstrates intent 

Losses to a group of scam victims

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 be heard. 

  • Not every law enforcement jurisdiction investigates fraud. 

  • Some jurisdictions only investigate certain frauds over certain loss amounts.

  • 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 Narrative).

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 (see How 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 investigation.

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 to collect.

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, and more.


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.


Understanding fraud evidence that demonstrates intent

Recognizing evidence, evidence categories, and the rules of evidence comprise an entire course designed for investigators.

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 intentions. 

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.


  • Documents you received from the swindler.

  • Documents you sent to the swindler or other investors.

  • 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 abroad.

  • Copies, faxes, or Photostats sent or received.

  • 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, etc.

  • Emails with the full headers

  • Email attachments - documents, photos, MP3's, etc.

  • Wire transfer receipts - bank-to-bank, Western Union, Moneygram, etc.

  • Envelopes, boxes, packages sent to you by the scammer.

  • Payment receipts, contracts, agreements, specifications

  • 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 threshold.

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 the pot.

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 accumulated.


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. 

Law enforcement can't do it without you.


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