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Reporting 101

Why Report

Making Your Report Helpful

When writing your report, it’s important to think like a detective and relay financial information and tactical details about the perpetrator.

If possible be ready to share:

Managing Expectations Around Reporting

For most victims, there is little probability of getting money back (especially if an incident is reported more than three days after money has been wired), and it can be difficult to get any restitution and accountability criminally. The sad reality is that many transnational fraud scams are operated out of foreign countries, andU.S. law enforcement cannot conduct investigations or make arrests in foreign countries without special law enforcement partnerships in place.or countries where law enforcement partnerships and extradition agreements do exist, the process can take years.

In addition to reporting the fraud to law enforcement, it is important to set expectations with the victim about what might happen after the report. Tracking down the perpetrator can take months or years, and may never happen at all. But regardless of outcome, your family member’s report will help law enforcement and the international intelligence community assess the scale of elder abuse, and potentially detect patterns in criminal behavior that can help cut down on abuse in the future.

Checklist for After Reporting

Common Barriers in Reporting

Occasionally, those trying to report crimes on behalf of a victim may find local and federal law enforcement agencies are unwilling to file a police report. They may say a report cannot be filed unless the victim is present in person, that they do not take reports on international scammers due to jurisdictional issues, or that crimes such as romance scams are “civil matters.” 

We would like to acknowledge the Los Angeles Scam Working Group and Bet Tzedek, whose research informed this article.

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