Financial Crimes/ Elder Abuse Detail
The Financial Crimes Detail is responsible and dedicated to the investigation of white-collar criminal offenses and a multitude of financial and fraud-related crimes including, but not limited to, embezzlement, check and credit card fraud, real estate fraud, financial elder abuse, organized criminal enterprises, confidence schemes, false financial statements, and grand theft by false pretenses.
Detectives engage in joint investigations with a number of federal and State law enforcement agencies, such as, but not limited to, the Department of Homeland Security, United States Secret Service, FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Department of Justice, etc. In addition, investigators work closely with private sector entities, specifically financial institutions that are critical to the overall investigative objective and successful disposition.
In recent years, investigators have responded to a wide array of domestic and international fraud schemes that have saturated communities throughout the United States and abroad. As a community service, Financial Crimes detectives provide to community-based organizations, businesses and professional associations, guest lectures and presentations relative to crime prevention measures on how not to become a victim of fraud. With the advent of technology and Internet accessibility, suspects have, in part, created sophisticated fraud schemes and have targeted hundreds of Americans to these scams. Financial Crimes detectives maintain a unique level of expertise and education and oftentimes receive requests to assist a number of investigative details within the police department, including Burglary, Narcotics, Gang Enforcement, and Auto Theft.
Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Crimes
What should I do if I suspect I am the victim of an identity theft?
The first thing you should do is contact your local police or sheriff’s department and file a report. You can then use the police report to request that consumer credit reporting agencies block any information that you contend appears on your credit report as a result of identity theft.
By sending the police report to one of the listed credit reporting agencies the fraud information cannot be reported under Civil Code section 1785.16(c).
What should I do if I am the victim of a forgery?
The first thing you should do is contact the bank or credit card company where the document was originally issued and close your account(s). Then request that all documents pertaining to the alleged forgery be forwarded to you. Before notifying the police be sure the alleged forgery was not a forgotten transaction or a transaction by another family member. Only when you are sure that the transaction is fraudulent should you notify the police.
How do I avoid being the victim of a scam or identity theft?
There are several things you can do to avoid being the victim of a scam or identity theft.
- Never give anyone your personal information, especially if you don’t know who they are. This includes providing or confirming your address, bank account, credit card numbers, or date of birth.
- Don’t write account numbers on the outside of payment envelopes.
Destroy any records, cancelled checks, receipts, deposit slips, etc. by shredding them. Do not throw them in the trash.
- Anytime you are asked to pay money to get a “free” gift you should refuse to pay the money. It is likely that the offer is fraudulent and even if you were to receive the gift it would likely be an imitation item.
- Guard your social security number. Do not have it imprinted on checks. If it is requested by a business, ask if there is an alternative ID that can be used. If not, ask for an explanation why the number is needed. It should not be used for identification purposes. Do not carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet.
For more information on telephone, mail and online scams go to the National Fraud Information Center at www.fraud.org.
Download a Brochure on Idenity Theft.
Always use common sense. If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t legitimate you’re probably right.
I own a business which accepts personal checks. What should I do if I am issued a check which returns “non sufficient funds” or “account closed?
If the check returns “non-sufficient funds” try running it through a second time. Often law abiding citizens write checks in anticipation that a deposit will be made to their account to cover the check. If it becomes obvious that the check is not going to clear or that the account is closed then the amount of the check(s) determines your next step.
If the amount of the check is less than $5000 then you should contact the Kern County District Attorney’s Check busters, 1300 18th Street, Suite F, Bakersfield, CA, 93301 or by calling (661) 868-8500.
If the total of your cumulative loss exceeds $5000 then you should contact the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.