Identity theft is a case on which another person uses your personal information without your knowledge. Some victims have their personal information misused. Individuals who are affected with a data breach have a higher risk of identity theft as you won’t be able to figure out right away if your information was misused or not.
When it happened for the first time to you, you can’t avoid having this question in your mind, ‘Do Police Investigate Identity Theft?’ Identity theft is considered a crime, so your initial thought is reporting it to the police.
There are two types of fraud as a result of identity theft. The first one is called ‘account takeover fraud’ and ‘existing account fraud.’ The thieves may use the actual card or the counterfeited card to purchase items and services. They can also just use the account number and its expiration date. You would only know it happened when unauthorized purchase appears on your bank statement.
The second type is termed as ‘application fraud’ and ‘new account fraud.’ Your SNN and other information are used to open an account. Victims won’t be aware of this as the culprit uses a different address where account statements are likely to be mailed.
Necessary Documents When Reporting to the Police About Identity Theft
Identity Theft and Commission Act was made by Congress to specify the new offense of identity theft. It prohibits an individual from using another person’s identity without lawful authority. The punishment is 15 years of imprisonment, a penalty, and criminal forfeiture for everything that the criminal used in accomplishing the crime.
1. Contact the credit card bureaus first to give them a statement to be placed on your credit file as ‘Fraud Alert’ and ‘Victim’s Impact.’ This procedure will help the investigator in the future to go over the records. It will be easy to track down the criminal.
2. Reach out for FTC or Federal Trade Commission by calling them on the number 1-877-ID-THEFT or fulfilling a form on their website (www.ftc.gov).
3. Once you did these two steps, you can fill in the Identity Theft Victim’s Complaint and Affidavit. Then you can receive a case number when you pass all of the requirements. You must attach all the supporting documents from your creditor, financial institution, or agency to help the investigation later on.
Do Police Investigate Identity Theft: What Happens on the Procedure
1. The case of identity theft is handled by a fraud investigator. The time that it takes would depend on the size of the caseload. It could take several days.
2. You will be introduced to the investigator who is in charge of your case. You can talk to him or her over the phone. You may also be asked to come to their office. But if it’s not convenient for you due to time restriction, distance or work, you can arrange a special meeting.
3. The initial report will let the investigator sort out the case to figure out the next case. It’s essential to communicate as it will improve the opportunity for a productive case.
4. As time allows, the investigator can begin collecting evidence to strengthen the chance to find the impostor and file a case against the person.
5. It won’t be the only case that the investigator handles in a certain period so your case may need to wait. At that time, the investigator is also waiting for documents of fraudulent application from your credit card company.
It may take a few or several weeks. Some companies need to be reminded about it.
6. It may take more time if the investigators need to request a court order in gathering information.
7. There’s a chance that the investigator might have caught a law offender. The 48-hour rule must be applied, which is asking the officer to arrange the case in a day. Then the next day is the arraignment. The decision of whether to execute the suspect or not must be taken into account as soon as possible. It is a very important case, so it is prioritized.
8. Fraud investigators don’t close open cases. You may think that they’re doing nothing as there are no updates as time goes by. After some months, the investigator will contact you as the impostor did something stupid. The officer found evidence to connect him to the case.
When the case is ongoing, there are some things you can do. You can communicate with the investigator once a week, especially if you have new evidence or if you remember something which can help the case. Later on, you can check on them every 3 to 4 weeks. Don’t be too pushy and emotional. It’s better to ask them if you can help with some parts of the case.
It may take some time to investigate the identity theft case due to some needed documents and digging into the suspect’s footprints. It may not end up in arrest. But make sure you do the necessary steps to stop the culprit in using your identity by contacting a credit card company and financial agency.