Why Do Police Try To Avoid Taking Reports For Scams?

Why Do Police Try To Avoid Taking Reports For Scams?

It’s About Closed Cases

Law Enforcement – A SCARS Insight

We Have Been Looking At This Problem For Years …

And We Believe The Answer Is Actually Simple!


In all the English Speaking Countries (U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand) police departments are evaluated based upon their “closure” rates – meaning the percentage of cases that are closed. But closed does not mean successful investigations that lead to prosecutions – it just means that the police came to a determination and closed the case – such as investigated or not a crime to begin with.

The result is an unforeseen consequence that has created a police response to crimes that cannot be solved – they just don’t want to take a report. If they don’t take a report, then the crime did not happen and it does not count against them and their numbers. It’s like a child putting their fingers in their ears when they don’t want to listen to their parents.


We demand so much of our police and that they succeed even when it is impossible, that we only care about the numbers and not the victims they represent. This results in you being one of those abandoned statistics.

How Do We Solve This?

Actually, there is an answer – look below after you have read through this article!

How Bad Is The Problem

Unfortunately, the U.S. police have been brutalized over the last couple of years, and the U.S. press is not as thorough when it comes to looking at these issues. The U.K. press has done a better job of shining the spotlight on the problem – though this problem is still far from being solved.

The Following Are Two Articles That Expose The Problem In Detail

According to the U.K.’s Mirror Newspaper:


From The Mirror April 2019

Tens of thousands of fraud victims are being let down by authorities because the crime “doesn’t bang, bleed or shout”

Britain’s police force is failing to support victims of fraud, a damning new report has warned.

In some cases, authorities are actively searching for reasons to close cases – even if they have evidence and suspects, an investigation by watchdog Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found.

Fraud, which inspectors say is the UK’s most common crime, can ruin people’s lives, yet despite this, it’s given such a low priority even where there are grounds to take action.

It said an “inconsistent” approach to policing fraud in England and Wales has left the public at high risk of scams and the devastating consequences that follow victims after they have been targetted.

It added that such an approach is leading to “fraudsters feeling they can act with impunity and victims feeling confused and disillusioned”.

One of the 11 forces inspected admitted it shelved 96% of cases it received from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, despite inspectors finding a strong degree of evidence in a number of instances.

The 108-page report said one officer told interviewers fraud was not considered a priority because “it does not bang, bleed or shout”.

A further force said it had only two dedicated fraud investigators, while another officer said: “If there is an excuse not to investigate it, we will use it”.


While there were also examples of investigators providing victims with impeccable service, the report said gun crime, child sexual exploitation and drug supply were more likely to be prioritised.

One analyst told inspectors: “Everything is against fraud. It is not a priority, not sexy, people don’t report it and it is difficult to prove, which takes time, resources and money.”

But the report said fraud can cause “enormous” psychological and emotional damage, highlighting that some victims have reported losing their entire life savings.

It concluded many fraud victims are not receiving the level of service they deserve, however, authorities said “significant” work is now under way to address the problems.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said: “Without that leadership the current situation will continue, with fraudsters feeling like they can act with impunity and victims feeling confused and disillusioned.”

Cdr Karen Baxter, national police coordinator for economic crime added there are areas that need improvement across policing.

She said: “A significant amount of work has already started to address some of the issues raised in the report.”

In Another Scathing Article:


From The Mirror September 2018

Reporting a scam to the authorities could take up to six weeks for it to be considered for investigation – however, even then, there’s little guarantee it will materialise.

Just one in 20 cases of fraud are being resolved with 96% of reported crimes closed without an outcome, figures reveal.

Analysis has found a “shocking low” number of cases are being adequately cracked, leaving millions of people – often the most vulnerable – as much as their entire life savings out of pocket.

Campaigns group Which? who carried out the report claimed it paints a worrying picture that authorities are losing the battle against fraud, in a move that’s costing households a collective £200 billion a year.

The statistics suggest that more than 96% of crimes reported to Action Fraud are closed without a successful outcome.

This is defined as when a suspect is charged, cautioned or dealt with in some other way by the justice system.

This compares with 84% of thefts, 80% of robberies, and 73% of violent offences between 2016 and 2017.

It said a freedom of information request found that most UK police forces have seen a “substantial” drop in their success rate for investigating scams.

In some cases, forces solved 40% fewer cases in 2016 than in 2014.

More than two thirds of the country’s 43 local police forces responded to a data request. Which? said 29 out of 30 respondents had seen their performance fall between 2014 and 2016.

Alarmingly, this comes at a time when fraudsters are at their most sophisticated – it also follows the Government’s decision to shelve the ban on pensions cold calling in July.

Which? also said anti-fraud agencies are showing a lack of transparency when it comes to outcome rates.

While success rates for most types of crime are published in the Home Office Crime Outcomes report, the figures for fraud were allegedly buried in a submission by City of London Police to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Most victims of scams in the UK are advised to report an incident directly to Action Fraud .

Individual reports are then passed on to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), where connected cases are pooled into a single investigation package.

The NFIB doesn’t carry out investigations. Instead, it assesses whether there is a viable line of enquiry and, if so, forwards the investigation to another agency. In most cases, this is a local police force, typically the one where the suspect resides.

The process can be incredibly slow – with assessment of a report by the NFIB taking up to six weeks before it is sent to a local police force. The NFIB attributes this delay partly to the process of requesting data from banks, which can take weeks.

Ceri Stanaway, Which? money editor, said: “The shockingly low success rate for fraud investigations is leaving many victims deprived of justice and suggests the authorities are fighting a losing battle against this type of crime.

“Unfortunately, investigations are often conducted at a slow pace – with communication between banks and the authorities often dragging on for weeks before police can launch a full inquiry.

“We’d urge consumers to be extremely cautious when dealing with unsolicited contact – as fraud is on the rise.”

However, those representing police and the finance industry said a strong focus is put on preventing fraud happening in the first place as well as solving cases.

A statement from City of London Police which runs Action Fraud said: “Fraud is the fastest-growing crime in the UK and this means that it is not always possible to enforce our way out of the problem; due to the high volume of cases it is not possible for every report of fraud to result in a judicial outcome.

“For this reason, it is important that law enforcement not only focuses on pursuing suspects, but also works to prevent and protect people from fraud.

“The City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau disrupts email addresses, bank accounts and phone lines associated in fraudulent activity. In 2016-17, 170,856 disruption requests were made.”

“Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau receive and assess reports of fraud, which are then sent to law enforcement for investigation.

“This process can take some time as we may sometimes need to submit a data protection request to a bank, the banks’ time frames to respond can vary and sometimes take weeks to complete.

“Some reports may also be linked to each other and therefore it takes a long time to assess the intelligence. Action Fraud also receives a high volume of reports.”

Action Fraud is currently preparing to introduce an upgraded computer system to improve the service for victims.

The Solution To The Problem

In almost all cases, this is a local policing issue. It is about getting the local police to take reports and show respect to scam victims in the process!

To solve this, it requires that YOU do something.

Local police are reachable, meaning you can make an appointment to speak with your local police chief or police commissioner! This is your starting point – have a conversation – make them aware of your situation.

When you talk to them, follow these bullet points in your conversation:

  • “Victims are frustrated by the lack of attention during the reporting process and the reluctance of officers to take a report. Reports matter to victims, it is their first step in regaining control and recovering. It must be taken seriously and victims must not be turned away.”
  • “We do not care about closure rates. We care about reporting. Police will not be held accountable for closure rates unless they refuse to take reports.”
  • “We understand that most of the time it is not something local police can resolve or even investigate, but sometimes – in the case of mules – you can act. In those cases, you must!”
  • “Scam victims, like all victims, have rights. The reluctance of local police to take reports violates those rights and this has to end.
  • Provide them with our Police Interaction Guide being distributed by the Department of Homeland Security – but print it out and give them a copy.
  • Tell them that Interpol has a model that local police can use to help recover victims’ money – you can give them the link to our article here: According To INTERPOL It May Not Be Too Late and the Interpol link: Online scams: It might not be too late to get your money back (interpol.int)  (you can print those out for them too)
  • Also, let them know that SCARS offers free scam training for local police departments. They can contact SCARS at contact@AgainstScams.org – we are a DHS partner for crime victims’ assistance. (proof available upon request)
  • Ask for an opportunity to speak to officers – some departments offer an opportunity to speak for a couple of minutes at their start of days, in other cases to have a meeting with fraud detectives. It never hurts to ask. We can even provide you with “handouts” when you speak to them.
  • Start going to police commission meetings and speaking up. Create awareness for scam victims.
  • Let the police know that they can call you to help when a local victim comes in – become a victims’ advocate – SCARS can show you how by becoming a SCARS Volunteer (go to www.AgainstScams.org) – most states require that you are part of an approved organization to be an advocate.
  • If you feel up to it, ask to go on a “Ride Along” to join the police on a patrol for a few hours or a day. This lets you talk with an officer or two during their shift conversationally to help them learn what it is like to be a scam victim. We can change hearts and minds one officer at a time this way! Most local police departments allow this for community relations.

If you do just these things, the situation will change overnight!

Will you?

SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

This article is by:
SCARS – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

A scams & financial fraud crime victims assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization headquartered in Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with partners in more than 60 countries worldwide
If you are a Victim sign up for our FREE SCARS Support Groups at support.AgainstScams.org
To learn more about SCARS, or to Join, Volunteer, or Donate visit: AgainstScams.org
To see Scammer Photos visit www.ScammerPhotos.com
Contact Us: Contact@AgainstScams.org

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