More on reporting scams

Often when victims ask “Where can I report these scams?” what they really want to know is how they recover the money that they lost.  The sad truth is that there is no place that you can report this scam to that will be able to recover your money.  To the scam victims, at the moment that they realized that they have been scammed it seems like it would be easy to find and arrest the scammer, and recover the money lost . . . you have their name, email address, phone number and maybe even a mailing address . . . but most if not all of those items are fakes that they use for their “profile”, and the other issue that comes up is jurisdiction, which we spoke about earlier.

So then what can be done?  Different scam fighting websites have different approaches to how they “fight back” against these scammers. 

At Scam Victims United we take the approach of providing information about scams in order to try and educate people before they become a victim.  We have created a Facebook Fan Page  in order to bring our message where people “hang out”.  We would like to see scam education brought into the school systems so that we can give the next generation the tools and resources that they need to recognize and avoid these scams.  We allow people to post scam emails that they receive so that then names, email addresses and company names being used in the scams will come up in search engines.  We also encourage people to report these scams, as we talked about earlier

“Scam Baiting” is another way of fighting back, and there are websites devoted to this.  Scam Baiting is pretending to be interested in the scammer’s offer in order to waste their time, and money, by having them send you counterfeit checks.  The site that I would recommend on this topic is 419eater.com because they will assist new “baiters” in learning the best way to go about this in order to protect yourself. 

Other sites focus on different ways of shutting down the scammers fake websites and closing the emailing accounts that they use by reporting them to the hosting sites or mail providers. One of these sites would be Report-Online-Scams.com

While these sites cannot help you recover your money, they can help you to do something to fight scams.  Education is the key to fighting scams, so talk about it with your friends and family and share sites like this with people you know.
Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

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Reporting Scams

“How do I report that I have been a victim of an online scam?” is a question I hear on a regular basis, either on our message board, through emails or left as comments on other sites. There are plenty of places that you can report that you have been a victim of an online scam. The main place that I would recommend would be the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) which is a combined effort by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).   As you can see, you get the resources of three larger agencies all from one place, and to me, that much better than reporting with multiple agencies individually.   To file a complaint with the IC3, go to http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

The following information is right from the IC3 site Frequently Asked Questions section . . .

Q: How are complaints resolved?

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) thoroughly reviews and evaluates each complaint so that we may refer it to the appropriate federal, state, local, or international law enforcement or regulatory agency. Every complaint that is referred is sent to one or more law enforcement or regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over the matter. Once we refer a complaint to the appropriate agency, it may then be assigned to an investigator. We, therefore, ask that you provide a telephone number in the event an investigator needs to contact you for additional information.

IC3 cannot guarantee that your complaint will beinvestigated.

Why can’t they guarantee that your complaint will be investigated? It all comes down to jurisdiction . . . who has the power and authority to address this sort of crime in the location that the crime was committed. Now, you might say that the crime was committed in what ever city or state that you live in, but since this person did not come to your home and take the money from you that is not true. They were sitting in front of a computer in another country and through the information sent to you over the internet they defrauded you. Being that the crime took place over the internet, with the place of origin being the foreign country where the scammer is, it would be the law enforcement and government in that country that would have to address this crime. (why other countries do little to nothing is an issue for another time)

 Now, I am not in ANY way discouraging anyone from filing a complaint . .. quite the opposite!  I feel that it is VERY important for every victim of a scam to report it. This will bring more attention to the growing problem and history shows us that when enough people feel that something is a problem they will try to do something to change it. So if you area victim of a scam please report it. http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

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http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch