Reporting a Computer Crime

Investigations Are Time Sensitive

Accurate and complete records will help you to resolve your case more quickly. For technological reasons, most investigations are time sensitive, sometimes requiring police action within the first 30 days following the crime.

These investigations also tend to require specialized knowledge of computer forensics, digital evidence handling, and the legal frameworks that exist for cyberspace. Please follow the instructions below if they apply to your case and bring the required documents with you to the police station when you make your official report.

If you have questions about computer crime or information security, please email one of our detectives or call 207-646-9354.

Crimes Involving Email

If you are the victim of a computer crime that occurred via email, the case officer will need a hard copy of the email with the header expanded. The header contains coded information that it essential in determining the origin of the email.

A sample header:
>Received: from [] 

by (8.8.5/8.6.5) with SMTP id GAA02664
for ; Wed, 10 Sep 1997 20:59:04 -0600 (EST) 

>Date: Wed, 10 Sep 97 20:59:04 EST
>Subject: Here's the info you requested
>Message-ID: <>
>Reply-To: >X-UIDL: 12345678987456123012345698745612
>Comments: Authenticated sender is 3

Crimes Involving Instant Messaging

If you are reporting a crime that occurred through an Instant Messenger client, the case officer will need a printed copy of the entire instant message (IM) conversation in which the offending message was sent. It is also helpful to print out any information saved in your Contact List that is associated with the offender's user profile. Refer to the Help menu on your particular IM client for further instructions on how to print out a contact's profile.

Financial Crimes

If you are reporting a theft or fraud, please provide the case officer with a printed copy of any web pages that you believe are being used in a phishing scam or are involved in a fake or fraudulent auction. In addition: Notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center of the FBI by filing a complaint on their website. This step helps law enforcement track and analyze computer crime on a worldwide scale. Supply a copy of the IC3 report to the case officer at the Wells Police Department.

Phishing Crimes

If your incident involves phishing, also make a report to the Anti-Phishing Working Group. This step enables you to contribute to a global database of known phishing sites. This website is also a good resource for consumer advice.

If you are a victim of identity theft, also file your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations.