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Contacting Law Enforcement: what to include, what to expect, who to contact

Have you ever wondered how to contact law enforcement if you have experienced a scam, what to expect, and what to include in your report? We provide advice below.

A warm thank you to Chainabuse’s Law Enforcement Partners who helped us write and review this article.

Why contact Law Enforcement?

Let us start with the bad news: as you may know, law enforcement agencies, both local and national, receive more cases than they can investigate. As a result, the likelihood that they will be able to support you remains small.

However, we do encourage every victim of a scam to report their case to law enforcement, regardless of the amount lost:

  • Only law enforcement has the power to emit a freezing order, i.e., to request that stolen funds be frozen of they manage to identify where the funds are currently located.
  • Reporting a scam to law enforcement, whether the loss may or may not be substantial, can help surface multiple victims of the same scam. If law enforcement finds out multiple victims are part of the same significant scam, they may decide to investigate and contact you.
  • Platforms may require a report from law enforcement. For example, OpenSea, does require users to file a report before they can support them if they got their NFT stolen.

Who to contact?

  • The agency you will need to contact will depend on where you reside.
  • We recommend contacting your local law enforcement agency, provided they can help, and your country of residence's national law enforcement agency. You can find the contact of the relevant agency on the map below:

What should you include in your report?

The law enforcement agency where you will be reporting will typically provide a reporting form you will need to fill out. We recommend including the following as a priority to support your case and increase the likelihood that law enforcement will be able to help:

You can learn more about how to trace funds in our dedicated article. This will help law enforcement identify linked cases and potentially locate stolen funds.

  • Amount loss converted into local currency.
  • Platform URL where you came in contact with the scammer if any
  • Contact information of the scammer, if any
  • If you have been able to locate the stolen funds, with or without the help of an investigative firm, include all evidence of this and specify the location (platform, jurisdiction, and wallet address) of the stolen funds.
  • Any screenshot, files, or documents you believe will support your case - for example, any communication from the scammer.

What to expect?

Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies are inundated with cases of crypto scam reports and can only investigate a minority of cases. However, we have seen numerous examples where funds have been recovered as law enforcement agencies were able to identify linked cases.

The following criteria may determine whether law enforcement would be able to investigate your case:

  • Obfuscation techniques used by the scammer(s)
  • The jurisdiction where the stolen funds are currently located and differences in how various foreign law enforcement agencies classify digital assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers
  • Amount loss
  • The nature of the platform where the stolen funds are currently located - for example, if the funds have moved to a regulated exchange, it may be more straightforward for law enforcement to reveal the holder of the receiving address.
  • Ability to identify whether the case is linked to other cases reported by other victims
  • Availability of expert skills at the given Law Enforcement agency at a given time

Do you have specific questions? Please contact

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