A Police Officer Speaks Out

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July 1, 2001



I cannot speak for all of Law Enforcement regarding identity theft cases, but I have read a lot of your web site and it has a lot of good information for people to use when identity theft strikes. I was disappointed with some of the letters people wrote to you because as a Police Investigator whose only job is Fraud, I find it hard to believe that Police Officers will not help people.

My city and department go out of the way to help people. The hardest thing I run into is with the credit card companies who will not help me with the information I need to prosecute a case. The only way you can get any cooperation is by telling them that you are trying to get them restitution and then they will help you to some degree.

Another problem I have is that the victims think that I am a miracle worker and they just sit back and wait on me to solve the case. They do nothing to help like calling their local banks or credit card companies. They just simply want a police report with a case number on it so that they can get their money back or their accounts cleared up.

I have worked cases involving thousands and thousands of dollars and I watch as they get probation and allowed twenty years to pay it back. I have worked robbery cases where you wave a gun into someone's face and rob them of ten dollars and you get ten years. The courts do not take Fraud as a serious matter. Until something is done, the cost of doing business is only going to go up so that the businesses can recover the money they have lost to fraud. A lot of the bigger businesses pretty much tell me that they write off so much fraud a year, so that explains it to me when I need receipts, checks etc. from businesses and they never give them to me. So, there's another case I close out and have to call a victim and tell them there is nothing I can do.

I take my job seriously and do not like being assigned a case by my supervisor and then not being able to solve it because of lack of cooperation from businesses and credit card companies. I could tell you several stories about our local businesses and major credit card companies but, like I said, I like my job.




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