LATEST COMMON SCAMS
Most people think that they cannot be tricked, fooled or conned into handing over money. However, it happens. Con artists are experts on human psychology and behavior. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Verify who you are in contact with, contact the financial institution, company or organization in question.
Some statements to alert you to fraud and internet / telemarketing con games and scams are:
Identity Theft is the unauthorized use of personally identifying information to obtain credit, goods, or services.
Forgery is the making (signing the name of another, real or fictitious person) or alteration of a document without authority, or the uttering (presenting) of such document with the intent to defraud.
Common Concerns and Questions:
1) How to file an identity theft 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. You can also file a report online if it meets certain criteria. (LAPD Online Reporting)
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 called 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 may experience a delay of several days in reaching our sections.
4) What to do after filing a police report?
Contact all creditors by phone and in writing to inform them of the problem.
Trans Union (Transunion)
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. We should also stress the importance of contacting the assigned investigator as soon as possible, only 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 Area Detective Division. NSF checks in the amount of $20,000 dollars or more are investigated by CCD.
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.
Victims of identity theft are entitled to a free copy of their report per Cal Penal Code 530.6(a).
Victim’s whose Identity is used on traffic citations or arrests are victims of False Personation. False Personation involving traffic citations are handled by the traffic division where they occur.
False Personations via arrest are handled by Geographic Detectives where the arrest occurred.
Real Estate Fraud Information
Prevalent scams: Real Property crimes take on many forms such as suspects who forge signatures on Deeds. They then use these documents to commit loan fraud to obtain money from equity in the home.
There are suspects who seek out vacant properties, change the locks and rent or sell them to unsuspecting victims.
Suspects also con the unsuspecting elderly victims out of their homes through forgery, home repair/remodeling schemes and large-scale investment pyramid schemes involving real property.
How to file a crime report: If you believe you are a victim of real estate fraud, please contact your nearest Police station and report your crime. Prepare a written explanation of what occurred. Your explanation should include:
Crime Location: The jurisdiction for Real Estate related crimes is based upon the property address that has been transferred through a forged or fraudulent deed. The property in question must be in the City of Los Angeles.
Crime Prevention Tips:
Resources for Real Estate Fraud
There are many avenues you may need to pursue: Criminal, Civil Lawsuit, and Probate.
320 W 4th Street, Suite 350 Los Angeles, CA 90013
The Department of Real Estate license, regulates and investigates complaints about real estate brokers, agents, and some mortgage brokers.
P.O. Box 55020 Los Angeles, CA 90055
The Bar Association can help consumers find lawyers that deal specifically with real estate cases.
320 W 4th Street, Suite 750
Los Angeles, CA 90013 213-576-7500
DCFI regulates some escrow companies and the sale of securities, such as fractionalized deeds of trust and verifies the licenses of mortgage bankers.
Outside Resources and Community Resources
Common credit card identification features: Credit card verification guides for local merchants
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
Federal Reserve Bank: Counterfeit currency detection guide
Federal Trade Commission: Victim tools and consumer publications
US Postal Inspector Service: Mail theft and additional consumer information.