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WHAT YOU CAN DO

Prosecute
 Sue in Small Claims Court
 Put the Subject in the CUFF Database  
  Tell Your Local Police about the CUFF Fugitive Database
Help Pass New Legislation
Help Other Victims
Donate to CUFF
Report Your Fraud to  CUFF
Join CUFF

 

    
      Citizens United to Find Fugitives
is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation that works to obtain justice for fraud victims and helps track fugitives so they can be located by the police and arrested.  CUFF is supported by donations and when we take a case, all our services are free.

 
I
f you have been a victim of fraud, don't let the criminal get away just because it is difficult to go after them.  Join the CUFF Fraud Fighters Force and we will work with you to use the laws that will eventually force the person to pay - criminally, financially or both.  Here is how you can turn the tables on the con artist and help yourself in the process.


Prosecute:
 
File a police report and make an effort to convince the police and prosecutor to charge the con artist.  It is probable that the person has conned others in the past and has a criminal record, outstanding warrants and/or civil judgments.  Too many victims let this chance slip by just because it requires time and effortFollow the steps in the CUFF Police Fraud Report in order to be thorough.


    Unfortunately, it is not just individual citizens who don't prosecute or sue after they have been conned.  Many large companies will just "write it off" because they don't believe the dollar amount is worth the effort.  One victim was told by a bank that had been conned out of $10,000 by a con artist that "it just wasn't enough money" to prosecute.   The lessons learned and the confidence gained by the con artist from this scam may be used to con someone else who might consider $10,000 to be a lot of money, possibly their entire savings.


Sue in Small Claims Court:
If the prosecutor won't charge the criminal, sue the person in small claims court where you won't need an attorney.  You can use the powers of subpoena to find their assets or to find them.  When you obtain your judgment, put it on their credit report to forewarn others about their scams while you are searching for their assets.


    
You may ask why would you want to sue someone who probably has no money, someone who has probably already spent whatever he or she stole from you?  You sue them because they must realize that there are consequences for their criminal acts, even if the prosecutor cannot or will not impose them.  And because someday the con artist may actually get a job or inherit money from relatives.  If you don't have a judgment, you will never get anything, nor will you get anything if you wait until the time limit expires on your state's statute of limitations (usually two to three years).  But once you obtain a judgment, interest will continue to accrue annually. You can even go against the person's estate after they die.


     If a prosecutor chooses not to charge someone with fraud, even though it is clear that property or money was stolen, it is most likely because the victim had a personal relationship with the con artist.  The prosecutor will tell these employers, girlfriends, boyfriends, business associates that the issue is civil, not criminal, because that is the way the system works today.  These "financial crimes" are rarely prosecuted in today's criminal justice system. 

     In fact, it is quite possible for a con artist to set up a victim by entering into a partnership agreement, opening a joint checking account, buying a vehicle on a term agreement or just becoming a very close friend, then disappearing with property and money belonging to the victim - and NEVER BE PROSECUTED.  So, until this changes, it is up to the victim to force the criminal to pay the consequences.


     But you can do this without a great deal of effort or cost.  Go to our Get Even Legally Page to find out how to sue in small claims court even if you don't know the whereabouts of the thief.  You can obtain a civil judgment against the person that will allow you to subpoena information such as cell phone bills, bank statements, vehicle ownership, etc. in order to find assets.  If there are no current assets, you will still have a judgment that can be placed on the person's credit report in order to forewarn other potential creditors about the person.  It can also be filed with the county recorder where it will be discovered in a title search if the person attempts to buy property in that county.  And there is always the possibility that someday you will collect your money plus all the interest and courts costs.  



Put the Subject in the STRAIGHT SHOOTER Database:


     (1)
If you are successful in prosecuting a con artist and they abscond, put them in the database under the criminal category.  Go to the Submit A Fugitive Page and complete the form.  We will verify the data with the agency in charge.  If the con artist has a criminal history, enter that in the database, too.  If you are not sure, we can help you find out.  How We Can Help

     
(2) When you obtain your civil judgment against the con artist, put the judgment information in the database under the category of Civil Judgment.   When you are contacted about the person by a database searcher, you can detail the circumstances of the fraud.  You will be protecting someone else and more than likely foiling a potential scam by the con artist.  Also, you may obtain information on the defendant's current whereabouts which will enable you to begin the collection process for your debt.  Additionally, the current victim may have information which, when combined with yours, will convince a prosecutor to charge the con artist with fraud.

Legislation: 
Write your congressman and state representative and ask them to introduce laws that will facilitate finding fugitives.  (View laws.)

Help Other Victims:
If you have been through an experience with a con artist, can you offer advice or emotional support to other fraud victims?  Not only would you be helping another victim, but you may contribute significantly to the apprehension of a criminal.  Send us an e-mail or complete the Fraud Fighters Registry and add your name to our Fraud Fighters Force If you do not wish to use your real name, use a code name instead.  Join CUFF to become part of the national anti-fraud movement.


Donate:
We are supported by the tax-deductible donations from people we have helped or people who appreciate what we are doing. Donate to CUFF


Tell Your Local Police about CUFF:
Ask them to put their fugitives in the CUFF database and put a STRAIGHT SHOOTER.NET link on their Web site.  Tell your police department that you want a complete fugitive list published in the newspaper and/or on their police Web site.  If they refuse, ask them how they expect the public to provide tips if they won't tell the public who they are looking for. Tell them there are numerous jurisdictions that already do this and are benefiting from the public's help.  If they need proof, they can go to our Law Enforcement's Most Wanted  page and review the law enforcement Web sites.


Contact CUFF through the STRAIGHT SHOOTER Web site: 
If you have been the victim of fraud and everything seems to be going in favor of the thief, detail the circumstances in a CUFF Fraud Report. We will provide a Background Search for a $59.00 tax-deductible fee.  The purpose of this background search is to uncover any information in the person's past that might be used to help you convince the police to prosecute for fraud.  It might also produce information that will help you locate assets for a civil suit.  It is crucial that both you and we understand who and what we are dealing with in order to know how to proceed.  

We can also give you advice based on the experiences of our members and, if you need emotional support, a CUFF member will be glad to contact you.  If you are the victim of a fugitive with a warrant, we will help you find the person for free and we will publish the person's record in the
CUFF Fugitive Database.  If you already know the person has an outstanding warrant or a criminal history, you can Submit a Fugitive to the CUFF Database for free.  If the person does not have a warrant or civil judgment recorded against them, you can still submit the person to CUFF's Internet Swindlers Database.  This is a proprietary database that matches names and MO's against others in the database in order to help law enforcement.

Take
The Fraud Victim's Journey to Justice to learn how you may obtain justice by following in the footsteps of other fraud victims who used the system to achieve justice. You can select the scam that harmed you in order to know which direction to head to find justice.

 

For more details on how CUFF can help you, go to How We Can Help


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