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Disclaimer:
The LAPDonline.org® website has made reasonable efforts to provide an accurate translation. However, no automated or computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace human or traditional translation methods. The official text is the English version of the LAPDonline.org® website. If any questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information presented by the translated version of the website, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

 
Metropolitan Financial Section
 
 
100 W. 1st Street, Room 533
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-486-5920 Office
213- 486-8731 FAX

Areas of responsibility:
Central, Hollenbeck, Newton, Northeast, Rampart, Olympic, Hollywood, Wilshire, 77th Street, Southeast, Southwest and Harbor Divisions.

Valley Financial Section
6230 Van Nuys Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA
818-374-9420 Office
818-374-9630 FAX

Areas of responsibility:
West Valley, Van Nuys, Foothill, Devonshire, North Hollywood, Topanga and Mission Divisions.

West LA Financial Section
1663 Butler Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90025
Telephone: 310-444-1517
Fax: 310-444-0796

*West LA Financial Section is under the supervision of Valley Financial Section. 
Areas of responsibility:
Pacific and West Los Angeles Divisions

All of the above sections mentioned are part of the Commercial Crimes Division and handle investigations involving: Identity Theft, Forgery and Embezzlements with elements of forgery. 

    Note:  Embezzlements that lack the crime of forgery are handled by divisional area investigators, or Fraud Section.

Identity Theft

This crime occurs when key pieces of a business or person’s identity have been obtained in order to obtain goods or services under that stolen identity. The key pieces of information could include: Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number, Date of Birth, Mother’s maiden name and address. This information allows the identity thief to commit numerous forms of fraud. They could take over your financial accounts, open new banking accounts, obtain utility services, purchase a vehicle, apply for a loan or credit card, obtain employment, Social Security benefits and/or rent a home or apartment.

Victims of identity theft are entitled to a free copy of their report per Cal Penal Code 530.5.
  • Crime Trends:
Telemarketing Scams: (Move to Fraud)
  • Resources:
Coping with Identity Theft: (CCD website)

FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center: Online complaint system for reporting cyber crimes.

Federal Trade Commission: Victim tools and consumer publications.

US Postal Inspector Service: Mail theft and additional consumer information.

Forgery

The making (signs the name of another, real or fictitious person) or alteration of a document without the authority of the uttering (presenting) of such document with the intent to defraud.
  • Crime Trends:
“Are you a victim of check fraud?” (CCD website)
  • Resources:
Common credit card id features: Credit card verification guides for local merchants. [PDF]

California DMV: To report a lost or stolen driver’s license.  Visitors to this site may also review the new driver’s license security features.

California Attorney General’s Office:  Consumer questions and complaints.

L.A. District Attorney Bad check program: Filing complaints for NSF checks.

U.S. Secret Service: Counterfeit currency detection guide.

Embezzlement

Mandatory element for this crime involve the suspect being employed & entrusted with control over the finances of a company. That means having fiduciary responsibility such as; in a position of accountant, bookkeeper, accounts payable clerk, Co-Owner or Chief Financial Officer and elements of forgery & identity theft exist.

Resources:

The following embezzlement checklist may be requested by your assigned CCD Investigator.

Additional Crimes investigated by Metropolitan Financial or Valley Financial Section (MFS or VFS) include:

Burglary/Theft where airline tickets or airline-ticket validators are the primary objects of attack; Forged Airline Tickets; Burglary/Theft where blank checks and/or check writing equipment are the principal object of attack; theft cases by means of an ATM (automated teller machine) card; also illegal card reader “skimmers” investigations; and Forged Prescriptions.

Frequently asked Questions or Concerns 1)    How to file a report?

A police report of this nature would need to be filed in a police department in your area of residence. If you have any pertinent documents, take a copy of the documents with you. Your report will be forwarded to the agency that has jurisdiction where the loss or transaction occurred.

2)    Case Categorization:

Case Categorization is primarily based upon the likelihood of prosecution, past criminal records and significant leads.

3)    After my report was made, nobody calls me…

A detective may or may not call you based on your report categorization.  If you have additional information that would assist the detectives with your case, please contact the appropriate financial section detectives.

Note: Reports taken at an area police station or other law enforcement agencies; will experience a delay in reaching our section.

4)    What to do after filing a police report.

Contact:

  • Contact all creditors by phone and in writing to inform them of the problem.
  • If your ATM card has been compromised, get a new card.
  • Place a special security feature (password) on all your accounts. Make it something involving numbers, letters and symbols. Most thieves would not have access to this information.
  • If your mail has been fraudulently changed to receive credit cards in your name, contact a postal inspector.
  • For Social Security Number intrusion, contact the police first then the Social Security Administration to report someone working under your number.
  • If someone is using your driver’s license number or name for identification, make sure to report those violations to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The (3) Major credit reporting agencies (or bureaus)

1.    Equifax (www.equifax.com)
(800) 525-6285
or
Write: Equifax
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

2.    Experian (www.experian.com)
(888) 397-3742
or
Write: Experian's National
Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

3.    Trans Union(www.transunion.com)
(800) 680-7289
Or
Write: Trans Union
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634-6790

5)    What do I need to do if I discover a forged check in my monthly statement?

When an account holder finds a stolen/forged, altered or counterfeit check in his/her monthly statement, he/she should go to the bank to sign an Affidavit of Forgery. The bank is the actual victim of the forgery and in most cases will sustain the loss. The bank will retain the fraudulent check, determine the jurisdiction in which the check was negotiated, and make a report with the appropriate police department.

6)    When will my case be assigned to a Commercial Crimes detective?

The length of time involved in the normal processing of an Investigative Report, from the time the report is completed until it reaches a detective at Commercial Crimes Division, is seven to ten working days, due to needed clerical work. The reporting officer should explain this to the victim at the time the report is completed.  The reporting Officer should also stress to the victim the importance of contacting the assigned investigator as soon as possible, especially if there are leads in the case that need to be pursued.

7)    Who investigates non-sufficient-fund checks (NSF) account-closed checks?

Non-sufficient-fund checks (NSF) and/or account-closed check cases occurring within the county and city of Los Angeles are now under the jurisdiction of the office of the Los Angeles District Attorney. Any person who receives an NSF or account-closed check for $25.00 or more is eligible for the county’s Bad Check Restitution Program (BCRP) at 800-842-0733.

NOTE: Victims with NSF checks for less than $25.00 should file a Small Claims action against the suspect. Call 213-974-6131 for a recorded message regarding Small Claims or 323-780-2017, for a Small Claims Advisor.  See LA Superior Court Small Claims website.

8)    Who investigates airline tickets theft and burglary?

Forgery Section is responsible for the investigation of burglaries when airline tickets, airline ticket validators, blank checks, and check writing equipment are the principal objects of the attack. Otherwise, the divisional burglary detectives are responsible for the investigation.

To order copies of other LAPD reports, contact Records Unit at 213-486-8130.
 
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