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Procedure descriptions

Display fraud offence

You can file a criminal complaint, regardless of whether you have been harmed, can witness a crime or are uninvolved. Fast processing is promoted by selecting the federal state in which the event took place. You can file a report informally, by telephone, online and at the police station, either anonymously or by providing your contact details. The online report is to be understood as an additional offer.

The criminal complaint focuses on the notification of a criminal offence. A distinction is made between different groups of offences. In order to promote the fastest possible processing, please select the offence group fraud offences.

When you file a complaint, you are a witness in the criminal proceedings. Regardless of the complaint filed online, it may be necessary to summon you to the police station responsible for further processing, for example, in order to be able to question you personally as a witness.

Furthermore, it is possible to attach photos, receipts or documents to the complaint as electronic attachments. This option should be used in particular to send evidence (purchase receipts, receipts or pictures of stolen objects, damaged objects or screenshots of screen contents) to the police already with the report.

Responsible department

Police stations



Any person who has knowledge of a criminal offence can file a complaint. They do not have to meet any specific requirements.


An advertisement can be made online, in writing, by telephone or verbally.

If you want to submit the advertisement online:

Filing a complaint online is done in several steps.

You can file a criminal complaint via the internet portal. This can be for various offences.

You call up the Internet watch via a central URL. You select the province responsible for processing the report by entering the location of the incident. After selecting the form for reporting fraud offences, you can provide basic information about yourself (e.g. personal data, mobile phone number, e-mail address). You can then enter data on the crime scene, the time of the crime, the perpetrator and the event itself. The entry is accompanied by legal instructions (witness or accused instruction as well as the requirement to file a criminal complaint and a notice of discontinuance).

It is possible to submit documents such as purchase receipts, receipts and/or pictures such as screenshots, pictures of damage or stolen objects with the report.

Once the report has been submitted, you will receive an e-mail with a case number and the contact details of the office handling the case.

The police department in charge will receive the report and check it. If you file a report of a criminal offence that was committed outside of Germany or in another federal state, the prosecuting authority will forward the report to the competent authority.

Only if there are no investigative leads available will the public prosecutor's office discontinue the preliminary proceedings. The chances of success differ depending on the type of offence. Basically, the more information you provide, the higher the chances that the police will find the perpetrator.

Anyone who knowingly and falsely suspects a person commits a criminal offence. The law provides for a fine or imprisonment of up to five years for this.


There is no time limit to be observed. However, you should observe the respective statute of limitations, because usually criminal offences become time-barred after a certain period of time.

Required documents

If applicable, evidence (purchase receipts, receipts or pictures)



Processing time

After receipt of the online advertisement, you will receive an email confirmation with a transaction number. The processing time depends on various factors. A time limit is not possible.


If you file a complaint, you are generally a witness in the criminal proceedings. It may be necessary to summon you to the police station responsible for this in the course of the further processing of your complaint, for example, in order to be able to conduct a personal examination of you as a witness.

Anyone who has knowledge of a criminal offence but does not report it may be liable to prosecution. No special formal requirements apply. Caution is advised if the offence is suspected. Defamation and false suspicion are punishable by law; here, the person who reports the offence must expect legal action against him/herself. In the case of crimes such as murder, robbery, war crimes and high treason, there is a duty to report the offence.

A criminal complaint cannot be withdrawn. You should therefore think carefully about whether you want to file a criminal complaint. According to the principle of legality, the authorities are then obliged to investigate.

Release note

20.04.2023; Innenministerium Baden-Württemberg


Bürger- und Standesamt (Bürgeramt)
Grabenstraße 15
89522 Heidenheim an der Brenz
Fax (0 73 21) 3 23-33 32