The proper way to report a scam would ultimately depend on the situation in which the act is committed. Whenever the scam involves an actual crime, local law enforcement should be contacted as soon as possible. If the infraction involves a regional entity like the Internet or the local mail service, get in touch with a federal agency. There could also be instances where non-criminal actions could be considered a scam. To report a scam of this type, contact a personal attorney.
Since there are a wide variety of acts that could qualify as a scam, the first step would be to determine if an actual crime was committed. Under most regional laws, any time that a form of deception causes a person to receive benefit from the act, it constitutes a crime. It is also important to note that the gain does not have to be solely financial. A scam with criminal elements could also deal with social acceptance, unfair business practices, or intimidation methods as well.
Once a consumer realizes that a crime has been committed, he should immediately report the infraction to the local police. To report a scam in this fashion, the person will normally be interviewed to determine the basics of the crime. If the police feel that there is enough evidence to constitute an investigation, they will take a formal statement that describes the crime in its entirety. This statement can be written, recorded on audio tape, or captured using video equipment.
Some crimes would fall under a larger jurisdiction and the procedures would be a little different. To report a scam of this type, a person would have to call or visit a regional authority in order to give a statement. Once the facts are sorted out, there are normally certain forms that will have to be completed in order for an investigation to take place. Since several governing bodies may be involved in discovering what actually happened, there may be additional interviews before any action is taken.
If the case is not considered an actual crime, victims wanting to report a scam would seek civil action in order to find justice. This process would normally begin with giving a statement to an attorney, and if the legal representative agreed to represent the victim, then a contract would be signed. The lawyer would then file motions within a courtroom to begin the legal process. If the case could not be settled outside of a courthouse, then it may ultimately be left up to a judge or a jury to decide if a scam took place.