The Economic Crime Unit is a part of the Screening Division. The unit fields complaints alleging various types of consumer fraud. The Worthless Checks Section of the Economic Crime Unit aids victims of worthless check crimes by either securing restitution or processing criminal complaints against those who issue worthless checks for goods and services. Once a complaint is filed and initial investigation has been conducted, an investigator may meet with a screening prosecutor to determine whether the complaint is civil or criminal in nature to determine the next appropriate action. Phone 504.361.2920
Who are the victims?
Contrary to what is often suggested, anyone can be a victim of identity theft, regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status or profession.
Where do they get your personal information?
While many people believe that it is through something very sophisticated like a computer system, the most common means are as simple as stealing mail, going through trash or employees stealing company records.
What should I do if I am a victim?
Be sure to report the crime to your local police department or Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Obtain a copy of the police report. Contact the three major credit reporting companies. Ask them to place a fraud alert on your credit report and to indicate on your reports “My ID has been used to apply for credit fraudulently. Contact me at [telephone number] to verify all applications.” Ask the credit bureaus to remove inquiries generated due to the fraudulent accounts and to remove the items that are due to the criminal activity of the identity thief. Here’s where to write or call:
|Equifax P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374 1.800.685.1111 1.888.766.0008||Experian P.O. Box 2104 Allen, TX 75013 1.888.397.3742||TransUnion P.O. Box 6790 Fullerton, CA 92834 1.800.680.7289|
We suggest you send a letter by certified mail explaining how your identity was used to obtain credit in your name. Include a copy of the police report. In addition, here are other steps you should take if appropriate in your case:
- ATM cards: Report stolen ATM cards immediately. When you get a new card and account number, do not use the same password as the stolen card.
- Checking: If your checks have been stolen, or fraudulent information has been provided to a bank, notify the bank and appropriate check verification companies and place a stop payment on any outstanding checks you did not write.
- Creditors: Contact all your creditors in writing by certified mail to inform them of the theft and ask that old accounts be closed as “account closed at consumer’s request.”
- Driver’s License: If someone is using your driver’s license number as identification for bad checks, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue a fraud alert. Request a new license number and fill out a complaint form.
- Health insurance: If your health insurance card is stolen, report it to your health insurer.
- Long Distance: If your long distance calling card has been stolen, call the carrier to cancel the account and open a new one. Also call if you discover fraudulent charges on your bill.
- Passport: Notify the nearest regional passport office to prevent the use of your name in a fraudulent passport.
- Small claims or civil judgment: If a civil judgment has been entered in your name for actions taken by the identity thief, contact the court where the judgment was entered and report that you are a victim of identity theft. If you are wrongfully prosecuted for criminal charges, contact the state Department of Justice and the FBI to ask how to clear your name.
- Social Security: Order a free copy of your personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement from the Social Security Administration and check it for accuracy. Notify the SSA of any fraudulent use of your number.
- U.S. Mail: Notify the Postal Inspector of any fraudulent use of your name via the mail. Finally, consult an attorney to determine legal action you can take against creditors and credit bureaus if they refuse to remove fraudulent entries from your credit report. Call your local county bar association for a referral to an attorney.