How can I go about pressing charges on someone who scamed me out of $500?

My son’s mother offered me her apartment when she moved out. She had someone come over pretending to be the landlord who took the cash and had me sign documents which she claimed shed mail once processed. When I moved in the real landlord came and I found out I’d been scammed by her and the woman who took the cash and documents. She never mailed the forms back to me and my son’s mother took the one’s I had claiming that she’d needed a copy for her own records and that she’d give it right back. What can I do?

Asked on September 10, 2010 under Criminal Law, Maryland


M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As far as I can tell, you have two potential remedies.  First, you should report this matter to the police.  As a private citizen, you cannot actually arrest someone, but you can report a criminal activity to the police, who can then investigate and decide whether or not to arrest one or more of the people who allegedly stole from you.  If there ends up being an arrest, you may be able to get the court to order restitution to you as part of the resolution of the criminal charges.  Next, regardless of whether there is an arrest you may be able to file a small claims action to recover your money in a civil suit.

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