Pfhorrest wrote:wasn't through a chargebackable payment method. thought I was delivering payment in person to the real sheriff's dept and didn't even realize it was something that could be transferred electronically. facilitating company has a fraud report mechanism but they say they're not responsible for giving you your money back and they require information that only the actual police have now in their evidence locker that i'm waiting on to make a futile attempt at reporting to them.
If the intermediate company is sketchy, then go back to the last point that is known good. Bank, at a minimum. Sometimes they go above and beyond what they are legally required to do. Good intermediaries, like Paypal, have some consumer protection mechanisms, but for ones that are out of country/sketchy, you pretty much have to treat them like part of the problem, since they unfortunately are.
But yes, this sort of thing is a good use of police time. It might not be easy, but it is of fairly high value. One scammer operating unhindered will eventually cause a great deal of damage. It's a disconnect between how police are incentivized with what's of value to society. From a practical standpoint, society would be a great deal better off if a single officer dealt with this instead of manning a speed trap for a couple of hours. The latter's directly beneficial to the cops, though.
One can also make a report to the Federal Trade Commission, as they have a responsibility to check up on such things as well, but I have no idea how effective it is. Ftc.gov ought to get you there.