The steps you have to take to file a fraud complaint may depend on the jurisdiction. Usually, however, you will have to make a record of the fraud you want to report and gather any evidence you have. Then you will have to determine which agencies handle the type of fraud you want to report in your jurisdiction. For example, some types of fraud need to be reported to the police while others should be reported to a government agency as well as to a business, such as a bank or credit card company. Since it is sometimes difficult to determine the agency through which to file a fraud complaint, a good first step in any case is contacting the police.
Often, the first step in filling a fraud complaint is a visit to the local police department. You may take along a record of the information you have regarding the fraud, such as notes regarding the fraudulent activity. You may also take along any evidence you have of the fraud, such as your bank statement with the fraudulent activity highlighted. The level of help you receive from the police may depend on the jurisdiction, the police department’s workload, and the type of fraud in question. This is, however, a good place to start with the complaint process.
During your visit to the local police department, you can likely obtain information about other agencies to which you should report the fraud. For example, if you have been a victim of securities fraud, you may need to file a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission or a similar agency in your country or region. If you have been a victim of identity fraud, on the other hand, you will likely need to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or a similar agency. If you’ve fallen victim to Internet fraud, there may be an agency in your jurisdiction that handles these types of complaints as well, such as an Internet crime complaint center.
Depending on the type of fraud to which you have been a victim, you may also need to file fraud complaints or reports with various businesses. For example, if you have been a victim of identity fraud, you may need to file a fraud complaint or report with your banks and credit card companies. Likewise, you may want to file a report with credit bureaus in order to minimize the effect on your credit report.
If you have been a victim of mail fraud, you can usually file a fraud complaint via a post office representative. You can typically phone your post office in advance to learn about the required procedure. Usually, you can also file this type of complaint with your region’s attorney general or a similar authority.