Resources for Victims of International Financial Scams


Resources for Victims of International Financial Scams


Please read the State Department’s information on international financial scams.

Victims of financial scams generally do not recover any of the money they lost. However, victims should report the crime to a number of government agencies. Victims may also need emotional support to address the trauma of being a crime victim.
The State Department does not investigate international financial crimes. However, we hope the information below is helpful to you.

Reporting Fraud to U.S. Authorities

File a financial loss complaint online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).This organization is a partnership of the National White Collar Crime Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

If you have suffered a significant financial loss, contact your local Secret Service field office. Any investigation regarding this type of fraud will be conducted on a case by case basis at the discretion of the local Secret Service and U.S. Attorney's Office.
Report Internet fraud to the Federal Trade Commission online or by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

If the U.S. mail was used in the fraud scheme – even if it originated by telephone or on the Internet, file a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspector.
Report it to the local police.
If the scam originated through a particular website, notify the administrators of that website.

Reporting Fraud to Authorities Overseas

If you believe the perpetrator is in Nigeria, report it to the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by visiting their website for more information or contacting them by email. You should provide detailed information including all correspondence, names and telephone numbers.
If you believe the perpetrator is in South Africa, report it to: Superintendent A. van de Venter, Commercial Branch, South African Police Service by email, fax +27-12-393-3003, or tel. +27-12-309-3866. You must send a copy of your U.S. police report along with all other information.
If you believe the perpetrator is in the United Kingdom, report it to the Metropolitan Police, telephone +44-300-123-1212.
If you believe the perpetrator is in Canada, you may report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Center, telephone 1-888-495-8501.
If you believe the perpetrator is in another country, contact the embassy of that country in Washington, D.C. or the State Department's Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Take steps to protect yourself against future identity theft because the fraud perpetrators can use your personal information to open bank accounts or obtain credit cards in your name. Visit the FTC’s Identity Theft Center, a one-stop shopping site to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft.

Financial Losses

Collect and save paperwork related to your loss. If an arrest and conviction is obtained in the United States, the judge will consider requiring the offender to pay you restitution. You may be asked to provide verification of the amount of money you lost.
Some losses may be tax deductible. Consult a qualified tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service to see if you qualify.

Counseling & Emotional Support

Financial fraud can have an emotional impact on victims and their families.
The Identity Theft Resource Center Victim Guide has information about the emotional impact of identity theft, and much of this advice is relevant to fraud victims.
Local mental health programs can refer victims to a counselor. Many counselors accept health insurance for counseling costs. Victims who need referrals to counseling programs or cannot afford counseling should consider asking for help from religious leaders or clergy, their family doctor, community organizations, their employee assistance program and local hospitals.