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SCARS|RSN™ Scam Basics: Reporting To The Local Police

Every Single Day, Victims Speak About Their Experience Reporting To Their Local Police!

IMPORTANT: Not every country is the same!

This article mostly applies for victims in stable, rule of law countries. This includes the United States, Canada, UK & Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and some others.

Not all countries have professional police, so you will have to decide if it is worth the potential problems to report in your country.


You Need To Know That Reporting Matters!

It is vitally important that your local police and national police know and understand these crimes.

Only through your reports can they do that. They can only see what is reported. They can’t guess, assume, or project – they can only work from real data. Your report provides that.

Even though nothing may happen after you report, the report itself is very important to help stop future scams because government can then allocate resources to address this issue, without the reports they remain ignorant about the true magnitude of scams.


Are You The Problem!?

You may need an attitude adjustment before you walk into the Cop Shop. This means you need to understand what you can expect and adjust your expectations to the police correspondingly. If you are unrealistic and too demanding it will not work.

Most victims that report to their local police expect the police to drop everything and get on a plane to arrest a scammer in Ghana. That they will get right to investigating citizens of Nigeria. This is fantasy and not the way things really work.

Also, many victims are so fearful that they are almost incapable of giving the police what they need.

Get Organized

Organize your information so you can give a statement and easily answer questions.

“Just The Facts Ma’am!”

The 92 zillion pages (or more) of your chats with the scammer do not matter to the police. They want hard-data.

Organize who, what, how, and where first. Have your money transfer documents and any identifying information clearly available.

Ask To Leave Just A Report

Just ask the police to take the report for “information purposes only.” Just say you need to get a report number for your insurance. They understand this and will take the report then, and neither you nor they will have any unrealistic expectations.

Realistic Expectations

Remember that your local police cannot investigate anything beyond their jurisdiction – you have seen cop shows on TV right? How often do you see Miami police rushing to New York to arrest someone? Never! Same goes for Ghana and Nigeria.

Also, you will get more attention when you report to the FBI with a local police report number in your statement.

The report number is your gateway to being treated as a credible victim.

Just remember, not everyone understands socially engineered relationship scams. Do not expect the police to be sympathetic if you are angry, fearful, or otherwise aggressive. But they understand fraud and have a fraud department specifically for it in most localities.

Remember, you are reporting a FRAUD – not a fake relationship or a broken heart. Stick to the facts and leave out how hurt you are, they will see and understand that. Most police now know about these crimes. Stay focused on the crime – deception and money. Do not focus on how you were going to have a life together or the other lies you were told – unless they ask.

Let them ask, do not drown them in your emotions and information overload. They know what is important for the report – let them ask if they need more.

Lost Money

  • They cannot get your money back.
  • Assume your money is gone.

However, with the police report number, you have more power and authority with money transfer services or your bank. Their fraud departments will need that police report number.

Money Laundering / Mules

In most cases, you have nothing to fear!

You are going to them voluntarily to support them. We know of no cases where anyone that reported a scam had any difficulty afterward. But we do know of victims who acted as mules where the police had to find them or where the victim hid it that were prosecuted.

If you received money from third-parties, either a scammer or other victims, report it. If you received parcels or packages, take the items to the police and report it.

Printed Copy

Always get a printed copy of the report for your records.

Local Assistance

In most localities, there are local victims’ assistance advocates – either volunteer or professional. When you walk in ask about this!

If they do not have someone on call for scams, ask for someone that handles “domestic abuse” victims. It is very similar.

Local crime victims advocates can help you with the interviewing and reporting process, but more important can help you with resources » and services that are available to victims in your area or state.

Follow Up

You are probably not going to hear from the police again. Unless they get a request from other authorities or a