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Home > Legal > Reporting a Crime

Reporting A Computer Crime

If you think you are the victim of a computer crime, remember that computer records are often very short lived. Start collecting evidence, such as firewall logs, screen shots, and emails, as soon as you suspect a problem.

  • What to do immediately if you find a problem

Assess the nature and the severity of the problem; try to determine if your computer or network has been the victim of an intrusion or "hacking." (Note that there are many causes for computer malfunctions that have nothing to do with hacking, such as downloading malicious email attachments or  misconfiguring your browser.)

If you suspect that your system has been hacked, disconnect it from the Internet to prevent further loss of data: if it's a desktop, unplug the Internet cable, or if it's a mobile device, turn off the WiFi access. However, do not unplug or turn your computer off until you've talked to law enforcement.

  • Contact your local law enforcement agency

Local agencies respond to complaints from citizens within their own jurisdiction and are the first point of contact you should make. They can offer the best immediate response to your complaint, as well as point you to other useful resources. You can find contact information for your local agency below.

Florida law enforcement agencies

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  • What law enforcement will need to know if you report a problem

Tell law enforcement everything you know about your particular incident, including any IP address information you have received, as well as any evidence that you have gathered.

  • Internet Fraud Complaints

If you have been a victim of an Internet fraud, you should contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), where you can file a complaint online.

  • Identity Theft, Spam, or Other Fraud-related Complaints

Use this form to submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection about a particular company or organization. While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems, your complaint helps them investigate fraud, and can lead to law enforcement action.

  • Florida Sunshine Laws and Public Records

If you report to a law enforcement agency that you have been the victim of a crime, the agency may open a criminal case. While the case is under investigation, the case file and all material relating to it are exempt from public record. However, once that case is closed, most of the materials contained within it will become public record.
Learn more about Florida Sunshine Laws here.

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