In case of a criminal offence
No matter what the scene of the crime is – home or street – it is important to notify the police as soon as possible and to keep the scene and evidence as intact as possible. You can get the quickest help from the Police and Border Guard Board, or the Rescue Board. Victims of a crime can also receive help from Social Insurance Board’s victim support specialists or rural municipality government or city government.
You can report a crime by:
- calling emergency call number 112
- going to the nearest police station.
How to behave on the scene of the event:
- try to keep the scene of the event as intact as possible until the police arrive
- memorise or write down data about possible suspects and witnesses and hand them to the police
- pay attention and report your suspicions to the police.
Keep the scene of the event intact!
- In case of a theft from your apartment, do not move around the scene of the event and do not clean the room – you could unwittingly destroy evidence you are not able to notice that may lead to solving the case. Furthermore, try to keep the surroundings of your dwelling intact, as there may be important traces on the ground or in the hallway.
- In case of a theft from your car, do not move around the scene of the event and do not start cleaning up your car. Do try to keep the surroundings of your car intact, as there may be important traces on the ground.
- In case of a theft from a car, apartment, etc. – if you have to touch something (lift something off the ground, open a door, etc.), try to do it with a glove on your hand in order to preserve possible evidence (DNA, fingerprints, etc.).
- If your wallet or mobile phone has been stolen – contact your bank/phone operator immediately and close your bank cards and/or deactivate your SIM card.
How to protect yourself
The Law of Property Act grants everyone the right to take a thing that was secretly or forcibly taken from him/her back from the unlawful possessor (a thief, a burglar). Force may be used but not in excess of self-defence. If you have been deceived in a civil law transaction, you may file a statement of claim in a court. You should consult a lawyer who can help you to determine your chances of winning the case.
According to the Penal Code, fraud is receiving proprietary benefits by knowingly causing a misconception of existing facts. It is in fact a situation where a clever fraud deceives unsuspecting citizens, who in their misconception hand their property over to the fraud.
Be careful when:
- You are offered a well-paid job abroad – many such agencies are just a cover for frauds who collect the commission and disappear, or smuggle prostitutes under the cover of babysitting or cleaning jobs. The jobs that are offered may also be illegal.
- You are selling or buying real estate (an apartment, a house, etc.). Smaller real estate companies that offer seemingly affordable services may also be a cover for clever frauds who use fictitious persons to sell your apartment or house to a third “good-faith” buyer and leave you without either money or property.
- You are asked to sign an authorisation document for acting on your behalf – do not give the other person too great of a power. The authorisation document should also not include the right to delegate the authorisation (in this case, a third person whom you may not even have met could start acting on your behalf). Be aware that all obligations that the other person can take under your authorisation will become your responsibility.
- You are asked to pay in advance for a delivery or procurement of goods – the fraud will take your money and disappear without sending you the goods.
- You are asked to disclose your personal information, debit or credit card numbers, passwords, etc. – your personal information may be used to access your assets.
- You have lost your documents – the data they include may be used to dispose of your assets. The documents may also be used by criminals. To prevent that, the loss of documents has to be reported to the issuing authority.
- You are selling or buying a car – take a knowledgeable friend with you to advise you on the technical condition of the car. You may also be become a victim of fraud when you are given the money – in place of money, you may be handed a stack of money with banknotes at the bottom and at the top but worthless paper in between.
- You are lending money – a written contract that specifies the transfer of money is of utmost importance in collecting the debt even when you think you know the borrower, as only the people you trust can betray you.
The State Portal eesti.ee does not provide legal assistance, European e-Justice portal provides information on justice systems.