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The Scam Report Preparation Guide

Report a Scam Preparation Guide

This Scam Report Preparation Guide by helps you prepare to fill out your online report and makes filing a complete and accurate report simpler, faster, and more efficient.

Cybersecurity experts say it’s critical to report scams, fraud, and theft incidents to the Federal Trade Commission, the local police, The FBI, and other government agencies.

Agencies want details.

No standard form for reporting cybercrimes exists, but every agency will likely ask for the exact details. You may also want to (or be encouraged to) report your incident to multiple websites and to anti-fraud organizations.

Therefore, it is better to take some time to gather your thoughts and information before heading online to fill out any forms and begin completing reports. This Scam Report Preparation Guide will help you provide a complete report that will assist the authorities in identifying and apprehending scammers.

Tips for using the Guide.

  1. Provide as much information as you can recall.
  2. Do your best to remember dates, interactions, and conversations that took place.
  3. Write an explanation of what took place. (About 600 words; some agencies ask for this.)

Provide some general but important information.

  • Are you reporting a scam that happened to you or someone else?
  • Was it a scam against you (an individual) or a small business?
  • Are you current or former military?
  • Provide your first and last name, address, and phone number.
  • Provide them with your name, address, email, and phone number:

What type of scam was it?

You’ll choose from one of the most common answers:

  • An impersonator
  • Online shopping
  • Job, investment, money-making opportunity
  • Sweepstakes, prize, lottery
  • Phone, internet, TV service
  • Auto sale, repair
  • Credit, debt, loan
  • It was an annoying call
  • Something else

Here’s what else they’re going to want to know.


Tell them if money was exchanged or if the topic of payments or fees came up:

  • Did you pay or send money to the scammer (or business)?
  • If so, how much?
  • Also, how did you send the money (credit card, gift card, crypto?)
  • When was the last time (and what date) you sent the money?


How did the interaction start?

  • Did it start with a phone call, text, or email?
  • Did it come through social media first? (such as Facebook and Instagram)
  • Were you first contacted through an app?

The scammer/fraudster:

What can you tell them about the person or company you’re reporting:

  • What is the name of the individual or the name of the company?
  • Is it someone you knew or pretty much a stranger?
  • Is this someone or an entity that can be found online?

Briefly sum up what happened to you:

Explain what happened in a brief but detailed account:

  • Prepare and write a detailed statement.
  • Describe what happened in detail, remembering as many facts and details as possible.
  • Strive to keep it under 3,500 words, about a page to a page and a half of a typed letter.

What to expect when you submit your report.

Also, although your report may not help you recoup your losses, it will help authorities compile details to launch a complete investigation and potentially catch and shut down criminals.

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