What should I do if I`m a victim of online fraud?


The internet is part of our modern world. It is a workplace , library, shopping mall and leisure centre. But because so many people use the internet for so many different things it also attracts criminals. You can assume that every type of criminal activity can also be found online.

An especially rife internet crime is fraud.

Have you maybe ordered something online which has not been delivered?

The criminal promises to send the goods but nothing comes, or the item is of a lower quality.

What can you do?

  • save all relevant documents. Be aware that texts and documents are often only accessible for a limited period of time, or will be changed after the fact (e.g. photos)

  • first off, try to contact the seller (by phone, post, registered letter) and give him a  reasonable period of time to rectify the problem or return your money. Make it clear that after the given date you will consider the contract to be null and void. Do not accept excuses

  • if a third party is  involved as agent (e-bay or similar online auction houses) you can register a case of fraud on their website. There is usually a button for this situation, but they only have limited possibilities (e.g. to freeze the seller´s account)

  • contact the police and press charges

For this you will need:

  • Copies of all documents (e.g. e-mails)between yourself and the perpetrator

  • a complete hard copy of the online sales offer/the description of goods on the auction site including article/auction number as well as the account name and the name of the web site

  • bank statement/proof of payment (Paypal or similar) which shows clearly the transfer of funds to the account of the perpetrator


  • contact your bank as quickly as possible and try to retrieve the payment

  • some online payment services offer protection for customers, in that payment can be retrieved  if goods are not delivered


You can copy documents from the internet to be used if necessary as evidence using Screenshot. With this function you can copy what is on the screen. Press  the `print`(Druck) key on your keyboard and the picture will be automatically saved and can then be inserted into a Word document, or by using the Paint programme  and pressing the keys Strg + V (ctrl +V)

What happens next?

The police will investigate and then pass the case on to the public prosecution service. All the documents you have collected (screenshots, printouts, bank statements etc.) can be used as evidence

You might be called as a witness and questioned.