Identity Theft and Internet Fraud
Identity theft occurs when someone gains access to another person's personal information, such as a Social Security number, bank or credit card number(s), or Driver's License number, and uses the information fraudulently, such as to secure loans for cars or housing, open fraudulent credit accounts, or steal another person's bank account.
If you feel you have been the victim of identity theft, the Flagstaff Police Department would like to help.
How to Report
Start by filing a report with the Police Department. Contact the Police Department's Dispatch Center by calling 928-774-1414. After the report is filed, you will be provided with a Victim's Rights Form with the case number on it for your own records. Credit card companies and financial institutions may ask you for the case number of the report to verify the crime. The Arizona Attorney General has published a general guide for victims of identity theft which includes information on reporting ID theft to the major credit bureaus, contacting creditors, accessing information if an account is opened fraudulently, and many other helpful tips for victims.
If your checks, credit cards, or Social Security number were stolen, you may also wish to look at information provided by the Federal Trade Commission.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), "Internet fraud is defined as any fraudulent scheme in which one or more components of the Internet, such as websites, chat rooms and Email, play a significant role in offering nonexistent goods or services to consumers, communicating false or fraudulent representations about the schemes to consumers, or transmitting victims' funds, access devices or other items of value to the control of the scheme's perpetrators." The FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) have developed a partnership called the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) to address fraud committed over the Internet. Victims are encouraged to use the IFCC complaint form. After the crime is reported the IFCC sends the information to the proper authorities.
Flagstaff citizens may also file a regular police report with the Flagstaff Police Department by calling 928-774-1414.
Remember, if you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft or Internet fraud it is very important that you act quickly in order to minimize the damage to your good name. If you are the victim of Internet fraud, you can file a complaint with the IFCC or if you are a resident of Flagstaff, you can also file a report by calling the Flagstaff Police Department at 928-774-1414.