Anatomy of a Scam Investigation: Chapter Six

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11 Responses

  1. Clark says:

    > note this: in reporting to litigants, you should emphasize that you write as a potential witness able to provide information

    It's good to see that the law SOMETIMES allows arbitrary fine-print at the bottom to change the meaning of something, even if it doesn't work for fake invoice peddlers! ;-)

  2. Stephen says:

    Great as always.

    One little point – You have a dangling paragraph at the end of the Postal Inspectors section.

  3. Patrick says:

    If you have engaged in telephone communications with the scammers, take contemporaneous notes and keep them. The notes should keep a record of what number you called (or what number appeared on caller ID if they called you), the date and time, how the person on the other end identified themselves, what you said, and what they said. Note: it’s often helpful to call the scammer’s 800 number, make a complaint, and make a record of what excuse they offer.

    Since we're giving advice here, I'll just make explicit the thought that popped into my head on reading this: DO NOT, EVER, record anyone over the telephone without first obtaining that person's permission, and recording them giving you permission, unless you are an expert in Federal and State (the State where you reside, and the State where the person being recorded resides) wiretapping law. Otherwise you could be charged with a felony.

    To be explicit, by "keep a record", "record", and the like, Ken means "keep a written record, made contemporaneously with the conversation", i. e. "take notes".

  4. Ken says:

    Good point. Added.

  5. Dan Weber says:

    One trick I learned a while back when I want to prove some website existed was to print it out, and then sign and date it as soon as I take it off the printer. If you're a n00b, it means you won't get a "maybe that computer file you wrote got corrupted" or "maybe as a non-lawyer you didn't know how to follow proper chain-of-evidence procedures."

  6. Rowan says:

    Another way to preserve what a webpage looked like on a specific day is to use a free site like FreezePage to take a snapshot. Along with the main Web page, they download and save all the elements on the page (images, stylesheets, script files, etc.

  7. G Thompson says:

    For anyone considering saving files using Mozilla (Firefox & Seamonkey) and having a complete forensically sound record of that webpage that includes all graphics, metadata, sound, video, CSS Styles and Javascripts you can not go past the amazing addon "Mozilla Archive Format"

    It allows you to not only load and save files in the Internet ExploderExplorer Format of MHT but also in the MAFF format that is a single zip format, that can appear EXACTLY, and verifiable, as shown by the original.

    As Ken states, PDF's are great for printing, but if you really think the web page might be interfered with, or is a dynamic page (which are problematic evidence wise) then I would suggest using this add-on [The direct mozilla add-on link is here]

  8. Dan Weber says:

    Ouch, tags overflow?

    Hopefully that took care of it. And I didn't even replace it with a blink tag.

  9. Erica says:

    Not for nothing, but I agree with Postal Inspectors being very competent, professional etc. Back in the day when ebay first started, someone took my payment (by mail) and never sent me an item. I got the ball rolling on an inspection (thru the Postal Service) that ended up in federal court. I can't remember a lot of the details, but it turned out that he took much more money from a lot of other people who stepped forward. As a law student at the time, the money he took from me was less than three figures, so I watched the case but (as it will) I lost interest when I quit Law school :D

  10. Clackablog says:

    > [Edit: As Patrick points out in the comments, NEVER record the call
    > without telling the person on the other end you are recording FIRST
    > and getting their permission.]

    Or unless your state explicitly permits it, like Oregon. Woo-hoo!

  1. September 23, 2011

    […] is Chapter 6, with links to the five other chapters in his "Anatomy of a Scam Investigation." Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. from → Uncategorized […]