Q: I live in Maryland and was scammed by someone from Texas. I have his residential address. Once I file police report with
local law enforcement, what else can I do? The amount is over $5000.
You can file a civil suit in Maryland, or in Texas. Getting a judgment awarded is one thing; collecting it is another. If the scammer is in Texas, you will almost certainly have to enforce the judgment in Texas if that is where he has his assets. In a criminal proceeding, the judge can order restitution as part of the criminal sentence, to repay you what you were scammed (actual out-of-pocket loss). You need to stay in contact with the Texas prosecutor to ensure they present your request for restitution. There is a better chance of getting your money back if that is part of the criminal sentence, so filing a separate civil suit may not be as efficient a means to recover your losses. You may also have to travel to Texas to be a witness at the criminal case, or the case may be dropped. A criminal defendant has the absolute right at trial to confront any witness against them, and cross-examine their truthfulness. If you do not appear and testify, the prosecutor may be unable to proceed.
You can also file a complaint with the Maryland Consumer Protetion Division, if the scammer is a business or otherwise falls within the purview of that division. Here's the link:
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