The mission of the Economic Crimes
Bureau is investigation and prosecution (in an
efficient and professional manner) of individuals
and groups engaged and participating in criminal
conduct involving forgery, check
fraud, theft and use of access devices
(checks, credit and debit cards), counterfeiting access devices (checks,
credit and debit cards, skimming and re-encoding),
counterfeit audio cassette tapes, video tapes, CDs
and DVDs, counterfeit clothing and
trademarks, embezzlement, impersonation, elder financial
crimes, identity theft, computer and
internet crimes, insurance and estate
The Economic Crimes Bureau also provides speakers to
make presentations relating to fraud issues for
business and civic groups.
Identity Theft involves another person using
your name and personal data information for
fraudulent purposes. Identity Theft investigations
are time-consuming, and many require compiling
documentary evidence. A successful Identity Theft
investigation requires cooperation from the victim
and the merchant/financial institution involved. If
you are a victim of identity theft, your primary
objective is to prevent and minimize further harm to
The following actions
should be taken immediately:
Make contact (by
telephone and in writing) with all creditors
(credit card companies, telephone companies,
utility companies, banks and other financial
institutions) to check for any accounts that
have been modified or opened fraudulently. (1)
Advise the businesses and/or financial institution
who accepted the fraudulent charge or opened the
fraudulent account that it was done so without your
knowledge or permission. (2) Have someone fully
explain the process for resolving fraudulent
transactions to you. (3) Complete an Affidavit of
Fraud. (4) Maintain contact with the businesses and
financial institutions until their investigation is
telephone and in writing) the fraud
departments of the three (3) major credit
bureaus (listed below) and
inform them of the problem. Request that a “Fraud
Alert /Victim Impact” statement be placed in your
credit file, and order copies of your credit
Review your credit
report thoroughly. Identity all fraudulent activity,
and dispute fraudulent information.
Report stolen checks
and any bank account that has been set up
fraudulently to all of the check verification
companies (listed below). The
bank and the check verification companies should be
notified to flag your account. It is important
to complete an Affidavit of Forgery on all stolen
checks at your bank.
Check the post office
for addresses in your name (an indication that your
mail is being diverted due to a change of address
form being filed).
Obtain a Social
Security Administration (SSA) report to ascertain
whether benefits have been paid out in your name.
If your identity has
been compromised, and you live in the city limits of
a police report with the Memphis Police Department
and with the law enforcement agency in the community
where the identity theft took place. Obtain some
sort of documentation that supports your claim prior
to filing a police report.
If you live outside
of Shelby County, Tennessee, and are a victim of
Identity Theft where the suspect may be from
you must first file a report with your local law
enforcement agency to verify your identity. Once
the report has been completed, your law enforcement
agency can forward it to the Memphis Police
Department Economic Crimes Bureau or you can mail or
fax it yourself.
File a report with
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Keep a journal of all
contacts and make copies of all documents. All
correspondence should be sent certified mail,
return receipt requested.
Evidence Required for
(original or certified copies) is required where
identifying information has been used by the
offender to compromise the victim’s identity.
identification by a reliable witness of the
identification of fingerprint impressions recorded
by the individual responsible at the time the
identity was compromised.
A dated and time
stamped video image with sufficient resolution and
clarity to clearly identify the individual
responsible committing the offense. The identity of
the responsible person must be established by
comparison with an identifying photograph or by a
witness who knows the individual by sight and name.
There must be some means of establishing positive
identification of the individual in the video.
A statement of
admission/written confession made to the police by
the responsible person.
Check Verification Companies (Theft or Fraudulent Use of Checks)
Security Administration (SSA) – Call 800.269.0271 if
your social security number has been used fraudulently. Call 800.772.1213
to order your
Earnings and Benefits Statement. The SSA may be willing to change
your social security number if you have what they consider an extreme
case of Identity Theft.
United StatesPostal Inspection Service
(investigates theft of mail, mail fraud, and fraudulent application
for credit by mail): MemphisOffice901.576.2077.
remove your name from Direct Marketing Association (DMA) mail lists
write to Mail Preference Service, Post Office Box
9008, Farmingdale, New York 11735-9008.
remove your name from Direct Marketing Association (DMA) telephone
lists write to Telephone Preference Service, Post Office Box
9014, Farmingdale, New York 11735-9014.
credit card is stolen or the number has been compromised:
your credit card company immediately.
the theft of the credit card to the law enforcement agency in the
jurisdiction where the theft occurred.
the use of the credit card number to the law enforcement agency in
the jurisdiction where the transaction occurred.
mind that the credit card companies own credit cards. They will be
considered victims if your account is reimbursed for fraudulent
charges, at which time they will assume the monetary loss. You (the
credit card holder) will be a witness who testifies that you did not
give the suspect permission to use your credit card or its number.
Credit card companies may or may not pursue the fraudulent use of the
immediate priority is to prevent and minimize further harm to your
If you are
a victim of internet fraud make an online complaint to the Internet
Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) at www.ifccfbi.gov/.
The IFCC will forward the report to the appropriate investigating
agency. Please remember the following if you have the address where
the merchandise was delivered:
individual who live at that address cannot be automatically
arrested and charged with compromising your identity or using your
credit/debit card number.
investigation must prove that the person living at that location
was responsible using your information.
positive identification of the responsible person must me made by
delivery addresses are frequently vacant residences.The delivery driver (UPS, Federal Express, etc.) leaves the
packages at the residence, and an unknown person recovers them
Attorney General for the State of
Tennesseehas ruled that “The Worthless Check Law (TCA 39-14-121) can only be
invoked when the bad check is given for a current or future item or
service”. “A worthless check given for labor, materials, and
services after the job is completed” would subject the drawer to
being arrested and prosecuted for Theft of Property or Theft of
Services. The questions listed below must be answered to
ascertain whether the check will be prosecuted under the Worthless
Check Law or Theft of Property or Services law.
the check written for services that were already completed?
the check written for goods or merchandise, and payment was not
required at the time of delivery?
the check written as a payment on a pre-existing account or
the check post-dated, even by accident?
the check been reported stolen by the account holder?
you willing to go before a Judge to sign an arrest warrant?
If the answer to questions 1 through 4 is
the drawer can be prosecuted for Theft of Property or Services.A yes to
question 5 may be a Forgery or Identity Theft.A Memphis Police Department (1) Incident Report and
an investigation conducted by an Economic Crimes Bureau
investigator is required before (3) an arrest warrant can be
signed.If you have any
questions, please feel free to contact us.
monthly statement (checking, savings, credit cards, etc.) and
report any unauthorized transactions to the business, bank or
other financial institution.
all correspondence from your bank or other financial institution
before discarding it.
let anyone swipe your credit card twice without giving you a
transaction cancelled receipt for the first swipe.
your credit/debit card in sight at all times to ensure that your
card details are not copied.
close attention your surroundings when withdrawing money for ATMs.
Don’t transact if anything appears to be out of place.
ATM receipts as proof of your transactions.
store copies of your password/security number/access code with the
of mailbox thieves.Promptly
remove incoming mail from your mailbox after it has been
delivered. Deposit outgoing mail in the U.S. Postal Service’s
collection boxes, or hand it directly to a mail carrier or take it
to a local post office.
gel-ink pens when writing checks. Checks written using gel ink are
unable to be washed, which makes it more difficult to forge or
a cross-cut shredder to shred pre-approved credit card
applications and receipts, canceled checks, bank and financial
statements, expired credit cards and other documents or
information that can be used to compromise your credit identity.
your credit report at least twice a year for accuracy, and
anything suspicious (inquiries, unauthorized bank accounts, credit
cards, purchases, etc.).
your bank or other financial institution if a bank statement or
credit card bill doesn’t arrive on time.This could be a sign that someone has stolen your account
information and changed your mailing address, which will enable
them to run up big bills in your name from another location.
with reputable online merchants when making Internet purchases.Make sure the site offers full security (a padlock sign
should be displayed at the bottom of your web browser).
carry your social security card, birth certificate or passport
give your credit card number, social security number, and
financial or personal data information over the telephone unless
you initiated the call and know whom you are talking to.
about the security procedures at your place of employment, and who
has access to your personal records.