How to Report Internet-Related Crime
Internet-related crime, like any other crime, should be reported to appropriate law enforcement investigative authorities at the local, state, federal, or international levels, depending on the scope of the crime. Citizens who are aware of federal crimes should report them to local offices of federal law enforcement.
Some federal law enforcement agencies that investigate domestic crime on the Internet include: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Secret Service, the United States Customs Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Each of these agencies has offices conveniently located in every state to which crimes may be reported. Contact information regarding these local offices may be found in local telephone directories. In general, federal crime may be reported to the local office of an appropriate law enforcement agency by a telephone call and by requesting the "Duty Complaint Agent."
Each law enforcement agency also has a headquarters (HQ) in Washington, D.C., which has agents who specialize in particular areas. For example, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service both have headquarters-based specialists in computer intrusion (i.e., computer hacker) cases. In fact, the FBI HQ hosts an interagency center, the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), created just to support investigations of computer intrusions. The NIPC Watch number for reporting computer crimes is 202-323-3205. The U.S. Secret Service’s Electronic Crimes Branch may be reached at 202-406-5850. The FBI and the Customs Service also have specialists in intellectual property crimes (i.e., copyright, software, movie, or recording piracy, trademark counterfeiting). Customs has a nationwide toll-free hotline for reporting at 800-BE-ALERT, or 800-232-2538.
The FBI investigates violations of federal criminal law generally. Certain law enforcement agencies focus on particular kinds of crime. Other federal agencies with investigative authority are the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.\
Many state and local entities also investigate and prosecute computer-related crimes. The National Association of Attorneys General (http://www.naag.org) has compiled a list of prosecutors and investigators from state and local law enforcement agencies who are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of computer and computer-related crime within their respective jurisdictions. More information on the NAAG's Computer Crime Point-of-Contact List CCPC is available from the NAAG website. (Please note that this list has been compiled for the use of law enforcement and prosecutors, and that many of the contacts on the CCPC list are not authorized to respond to general questions of law from the public or to provide legal advice on specific issues and cases. Members of the public seeking to report a crime, or seeking assistance relating to the investigation or prosecution of a computer crime, may contact the police department within the county, state, or other jurisdiction where the criminal activity is occurring, or the FBI)
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