April 15, 2013
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
Reporting Fraud to Authorities Overseas
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.
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
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.