Area of Law: Fraud and Fraud Recovery
Answer # 1515
Gather your evidence and organize your caseRegion: Ontario Answer # 1515
Discovering the fraud
Frauds may be perpetrated in any number of relationships, such as:
- investment and securities matters,
- between business associates, and in
- romantic or other personal relationships.
In many cases, when a fraud has been discovered, the fraud victim will want to immediately contact the fraudster to demand the return of their money. They may also want to contact the police. It is advisable that fraud victims take some time to evaluate their situation and how best to get their money back before acting on these impulses.
Take some time to plan and organize your case
Fraud victims should consider the following:
- If a victim immediately confronts the fraudster, the fraudster may destroy the evidence and spend or hide the money the victim hopes to recover. If the victim does not alert the fraudster that they have discovered the fraud, the element of surprise often increases a fraud victim’s chances of getting their money back.
- Contact a family member or friend they trust who is not involved with the fraudster to review the situation and provide support.
- Find and organize documents relating to any contact with the fraudster and to any financial transactions, along with any other possibly relevant evidence.
- Find an appropriate civil fraud recovery lawyer or law firm who will focus on recovering the loss.
Consider your options before contacting the police
It is natural that many people would assume that the first step in discovering a fraud would be to call the police. However, if a complaint is made to the police, they will often contact the alleged fraudster. Alerting the fraudster that the fraud has been discovered and that the victim is taking action can preclude the victim from recovering their money. As the police are not in the business of recovering the money of fraud victims, before contacting them, it is a good idea to review the information in topic #1518 Things to consider before contacting the police.
Start gathering and preserving evidence
If you are sure that a fraud has been perpetrated, start to gather evidence that you can easily obtain, and preserve it. Organize any electronic and paper documents relating to the fraud, such as:
- documents that relate to the transfer of funds,
- bank statements
- text or email messages, and
- representations made by the fraudster in any other manner.
Organizing documents in chronological order will help a lawyer and the police to better understand the case.
Get an assessment of your case
At this point, it is advisable that you contact a fraud recovery expert to get expert advice and an assessment of your chances for recovery.
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