Feds Prepare Kit To Help Local Cops Fight ID Theft - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Feds Prepare Kit To Help Local Cops Fight ID Theft

An electronic package being mailed by the Secret Service to police departments is designed to help local authorities fight identity crimes.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Stolen credit-card and Social Security numbers. Check fraud. Drained bank accounts. Ruined credit. Nightmares for victims, identity crimes also can be vexing to local police departments trying to unravel the crimes.

To help local police officers better understand and investigate these crimes, an electronic package is being mailed out Tuesday to more than 40,000 police departments and other law enforcement authorities, the Secret Service said Monday.

"If you're a victim of identity crime, you're not going to call a Secret Service agent; you're going to call your local police department," said Richard Starmann, one of the Secret Service's main point people on the project.

"What we were finding ... was that some of them knew what to do. Some had a lot of experience working this type of crime. But the great majority of them didn't really have the experience they needed to work this type of crime," Starmann said.

The materials include a 10-minute video that can be shown to officers during roll call meetings, which often take place before daily shifts begin. In the video, law enforcers share their experiences in combating identity crimes and what works for them.

An electronic guide provides officers with more than 40 investigative resources that officers can use in their investigations as well as a variety of information to help victims.

For instance, included in the electronic guide are materials from the Federal Trade Commission that advise victims to contact:

* Credit bureaus and request that a "fraud alert" be placed in their files.

* Creditors to see if any accounts have been used or fraudulently opened.

* Their local police departments to file a crime report.

For local police officers, there's a wide range of materials, including questions to ask and things to look for when conducting identity crime investigations; the best way to seize electronic evidence; and advice on how to detect bogus credit cards and passports.

Starmann said identity thieves have various reasons to engage in these types of crimes. Among them are personal gain, to buy goods and services; financial gain, to bankroll other criminal activities, such as drugs and weapons trafficking or terrorism; and help in moving anonymously through society for any number of reasons.

Roughly 10 months in the making, the electronic materials package is a project of the Secret Service, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Timothy Caddigan, the Secret Service's special agent in charge of the criminal investigative division, said the electronic materials cost $250,000 to produce and distribute. The project was paid for with money forfeited in criminal cases involving the Treasury Department, he said.

Complaints about identity theft were at the head of the government's list of consumer frauds in 2002 for a third consecutive year. Experts blame easily available technology.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Commentary
Where Cloud Spending Might Grow in 2021 and Post-Pandemic
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/19/2020
Slideshows
The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/10/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll