Filing a fraud report is essential when you come across a scammer. But this involves knowing what a fraud entails and how to go about the reporting process. Fraud is a criminal offense when individuals deceive others for personal or monetary gains. Most national governments have numerous agencies that take on the task of control and stoppage of fraud. The way a report is filed depends on the nature of the crime and the concerned agency that regulates it.
Submitting a detailed fraud report to the proper agency once the scam has been perpetrated is a must, if you want to catch the fraudster. While leading agencies have online or telephone reporting systems, here’s a brief rundown of the different kinds of scams and how to file a report for each of these.
#1 Identity Fraud
Filing a fraud report for an identity theft is critical, if you want to protect your personal details from being used by a criminal. The first step you need to take is to gather evidence that the identity has been stolen. Identify fraud when someone uses either your name, credit card details, social security number or personal data to make purchases, take out loans or commit fraud. Above all, make sure you file a report so that the criminal is stopped from using your identity.
Identity thefts evidence includes credit card statements that show purchases you did not make, collection notices under your name for debts which are not yours or statements from credit card firms you do not have an account with. Once the fraud report has been filed, you need to also file an identity theft report with the local police. A copy and report number ensures you can keep track of the identity theft report.
#2 Internet Fraud
Again, the first step is evidence gathering. If you were defrauded online by individual/group/website, gather extensive information to serve as evidence of what took place. Gather as much data as possible to serve as evidence of what transpired. Collect the web address, email address and records of the correspondence. Based on the type of internet fraud that has taken place, bank statements and other types of data may also need to be collected. The most common types of frauds on the internet, for which you will have to file a report include:
- Monetary loss
- Debt elimination schemes
- Investment fraud
- Nigerian letter scam/419
- Spoofing and phishing
Fill out your personal data and the fraud description. File a police report based on the location of the scammer. You can also track the complaint. Lodge a complaint with Consumer Protection Agency and Better Business Bureau if you have been defrauded by a corporate scammer.
#3 Credit Card Fraud
Before filing a fraud report, gather evidence of a credit card fraud. Check if the credit card statement reflects a purchase you have not made. Report the fraud to the credit card company so that you can deal with the situation and block the card, and no future payments can be made using your credit card details. Inform the credit reporting agency and get your credit report, too.
Other kinds of scams such as mail frauds, elder frauds, mortgage scams and romance scams are also worth reporting. Don’t be a silent victim. Find your voice and empower yourself by filing a fraud report today.