The best way to report cyber crime depends on your specific circumstances, including the type of crime committed and the country, state, or province that you live in. Cyber crime is a broad term, encompassing a variety of offenses involving computers or technology, and while some of these offenses are handled by special government agencies or departments, many full under the jurisdiction of more than one government entity. In the US, a special organization known as the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) accepts complaints of cyber crime involving at least one US citizen and forwards them to the appropriate law enforcement or regulatory agency. You may also want to report cyber crime of certain types to more than agency, to local authorities, or even to independent organizations
Many cyber crimes can fall under the jurisdiction of multiple law enforcement agencies, making it difficult for victims to find the most appropriate agency to report cyber crime to. To combat this problem, the US government has established IC3 to accept cyber crime complaints from American citizens or foreigners victimized by Americans and then forward them to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for investigation. Outside the US, a good place to start is with the national law enforcement or consumer protection agency in your country. While these organizations may not be the best place to report your particular crime, they should be able to direct you to a more appropriate contact. In many cases you can also report cyber crime of a serious nature to your local or state police, and some cases of Internet fraud are dealt with by the attorney general’s office of many states and provinces.
Very minor crimes, like spam, are often handled by regulatory agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the U.S., while the most extreme acts involving terrorism, violence, or large-scale computer hacking are dealt with by elite units of agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Other organizations may need to be involved depending on the nature of the crime. If you have been a victim of computer-based identity theft, for example, you should contact the FTC or a similar consumer protection agency in your country as well as your financial institutions and the major credit reporting bureaus, also known as credit reference agencies. Crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children should be reported to local police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
It may also be beneficial to report cyber crime to independent organizations. Groups like the National Fraud Information Center and Scambusters work to educate the public in the latest types of Internet fraud and scams. Makers of computer security software often accept reports of new viruses, malware, or hacking, and a large number of nonprofit groups are dedicated to fighting spammers and phishers. If you believe your information or property has been compromised because of the negligence of another party, you may wish to contact an attorney that specializes in cyber crime. Data security laws at the local and national level may give you some legal recourse if a company or organization did not properly protect your information.