Financial crimes are one of the most rapidly growing criminal enterprises in the United States. The Oak Lawn Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit investigates a variety of financial crimes from simple petty thefts to embezzlements of large amounts of money. The unit also handles fraud, forgeries, identity thefts, scams and ATM / credit card offenses.
What should I do if I am the victim of a forgery?
The first thing you should do is contact the bank or credit card company where the forged document was originally issued and close your account(s). Before notifying the police, be sure that the alleged forgery was not a forgotten transaction or a transaction by another family member.
How do I avoid being the victim of a scam or identity theft?
There are several things you can do to avoid being the victim of a scam or identity theft:
Never give anyone your personal information, especially if you don’t know who he or she is. That includes providing or confirming your address, bank account, credit card numbers, phone numbers or date of birth.
Don’t write account numbers on the outside of payment envelopes.
Destroy any records, cancelled checks, receipts, and deposit slips, etc. before throwing them away. If you have a shredder, use it. If not, tear the bills, receipts, etc. into tiny pieces and try to put them in different trashcans.
Guard your Social Security number. Do not have it imprinted on checks. If it is requested by a business, ask if there is an alternate ID that can be used. If not, ask for an explanation why the number is needed. It should not be used for identification purposes.
Check with the National Fraud Information Center at www.fraud.org . NFIC provides a lot of valuable resources about telephone, mail and online scams.
If you are a victim of Identity theft contact The Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft and your local police department.
Always use common sense!
I own a business that accepts personal checks. What should I do if I am issued a check that returns "non sufficient funds" or "account closed?"
If the check returns "non-sufficient funds" deposit it a second time. Often law abiding citizens write checks in anticipation that a deposit will be made to their account to cover the check. If it becomes obvious that the check is not going to clear or that the account is closed then contact the Oak Lawn Police Department at (708)-422-8292.
What should I do if I am a victim of credit card theft?
If you are a victim of credit card theft immediately contact the following credit agency and report the theft.
Trans Union 1-800-680-7289 and the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft
Next, contact the police agency where the theft took place. If the theft took place in Oak Lawn call (708)-422-8292.