What’s involved in Identity Theft Crimes – Law Enforcement and Victims

What is Identity Crime?

Identity crimes are those in which there is a fraudulent use of another person's identifying information with the intent to commit other criminal activities or to obtain credit, goods, or services without the victim's consent. No financial loss is necessary.

A person commits an identity crime if he or she:

· Knowingly possesses or uses the personal identifying information, financial identifying information, or financial transaction device of another without permission to obtain cash, credit, property, services, or any other things of value.

· Falsely makes, completes, or alters a document or financial transaction device containing any personal identifying information of another person, with the intent to defraud.

· Knowingly uses or possesses the personal identifying information of another without permission or lawful authority to obtain a government-issued document.

· Attempts, conspires with another, or solicits another to commit any of these acts.

Personal identifying information is defined as information that, alone or in conjunction with other information, identifies an individual, including but not limited to such individual's:

· Name, address or birth date.

· Telephone, Social Security, taxpayer identification, driver's license, identification card, alien registration, government passport, checking, savings, deposit and credit, debit or other payment card account number.

· Biometric data, defined as data, such as fingerprints, voice prints, or retina and iris prints that capture, represent or enable the reproduction of the unique physical attributes of an individual.

· Unique electronic identification devices or telecommunication identifying device, meaning a number, or magnetic or electronic device that enables the holder to use telecommunications technology to access an account, obtain money, goods, services or transfer funds.

Financial transaction device means any instrument or device whether known as a credit card, banking card, debit card, electronic funds transfer or stored value card, or account number representing a financial account or affecting the financial interest, standing, or obligation of or to the account holder, that can be used to obtain cash, goods, property, services or to make financial payments. A person commits unauthorized use of a financial transaction device or account number if he uses such device or number for the purpose of obtaining cash, credit, property, services or for making financial payment, with intent to defraud, and with notice that either the financial transaction device has expired, has been revoked, or has been cancelled; or for any reason this use of the financial transaction device is unauthorized either by the issuer or by the account holder.

Data is imperfect in helping to determine the frequency of identity crime as well as the total damages to victims, in part because these crimes often go unreported to law enforcement. Regardless, the rates are very high (as many as 6.4 million new households are affected annually, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics), and by many estimates, the numbers are rising. The incidence of identity crime via e-mail or telephone order purchases or transactions alone leapt from 3% in 2006 to 40% in 2007. Of equally urgent concern is that the methods of committing these crimes change quickly – perpetrators are gaining in sophistication, making it all the more important for law enforcement to stay current on the trends and techniques in identity crime.

Stages of Identity Crime

When initiating an investigation of identity crime, it may be helpful to consider the four major stages of the crime:

Crime Stage

What Happens

What the victim May/May Not Notice

Victim’s information is collected by the criminal (theft)

Victim’s personal information and identity are compromised.

· Lost wallet, purse, credit card, driver’s license, luggage, passport, etc.

· Credit card, mortgage, bank statement or other bill missing from or never received in the mail

· Had wallet or purse stolen, car/house broken into

· Personal computer security has been compromised

· Company that had its data breached notifies the victim

Criminal converts that information

Information becomes new false identity.

· No noticeable event

The information is passed along

The victim’s identity is attached to a new individual.

· Not noticeable until used

The new identity is put to use (fraud)

The identity is used for committing fraud and other crimes.

· Contacted by debt collectors

· Funds are missing from checking or savings accounts

· Fraudulent charges on credit cards, etc.

· New accounts they did not open appear on their credit report, or they receive the bills

· Arrested for crime they didn’t commit

Investigative Steps

Not all criminal investigations require in-depth documentation, but the nature of identity crime is such that it warrants superior organization not only to help investigators make progress toward arrests, but also for the purposes of helping victims and preparing for prosecution.

Remember that you will have to explain the case to a prosecutor who will in turn have to explain it to a jury. Due to the complexity of the cases, it is very helpful to keep detailed and organized case files to make sure that it is possible later to tell a coherent and logical story about the crime and the suspect’s involvement.

The organizational methods often will benefit by use of a spreadsheet or other case management software. There are courses available through federal and regional law enforcement agencies that teach these methods. They are not designed solely for identity crime investigations but are significant in the investigation of all organized criminal enterprises.

The following basic investigative steps are recommended once a reported complaint moves into an identity crime case:

Step

What Happens

Review the Case

The investigator reviews the details provided in the initial interview with the victim. If the detective was the initial interviewer s/he is re-checking known facts. If s/he is tasked with the follow-up investigation, s/he will want to become familiar with the facts reported. The review is also intended to discern that the facts meet the elements of the crime classification and help decide what information is needed from the victim in the next interview.

Re-Interview the Victim

The follow-up interview is conducted to determine if the facts have changed (like in an incident of false reporting), or new facts have been learned by the victim. The victim can clarify any information in the initial report that may be unclear. The detective will also have the opportunity to establish that the victim has in fact followed up on the steps s/he was advised to take at the initial interview.

Authenticate the Crime

The re-interview may have provided more information to help determine the true nature of the complaint and identify whether or not the incident involves

· False reporting

· Civil dispute

· Domestic dispute

· Misidentification

· Another (additional) crime

Begin Analysis

Based upon the known facts, begin to state the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” of the case. Like in any investigation, this will be a continuous process as evidence and leads are tracked down and results are analyzed.

Who: Victim information and suspect information, if known
What: Purchase, theft, etc., using victim’s identifiers. Which identifiers were used?
Where: Merchant locations or IP addresses logged, delivery addresses, land line phone numbers, etc.
When: As per billing/account statements, etc.
Why: Motive
How: Were the identifiers compromised? Were the identifiers used? e.g., Internet, phone purchases, benefits

Pursue Initial Leads

What point in the criminal enterprise is exposed?
Where do the facts thus far put us in the criminal enterprise? Merchandise drops may indicate the location or a place to start looking for those involved in passing off the identities for profit. IP addresses may indicate where the computer was located that was involved in the passing of identities. If the locations are outside your jurisdiction what is the next step?

Gather Evidence – Be Timely and Careful with It17

Through victim’s consent or through subpoena/court order, investigators will need documentation from financial institutions and government agencies.

The investigator will begin creating a paper and digital trail of physical evidence. Do not overlook the traditional investigative skills learned through training and experience. Not all documents in the trail will be digital. Paper document evidence will exist and is subject to forensic treatment. Security surveillance video of the target and surrounding businesses still exists and suspect photo arrays still need to be shown to witnesses. The investigator/detective still needs to hit the streets and look for witnesses and other physical evidence that may put a subject at the scene where an ATM skimmer may have been employed, or a computer used at an Internet café.

Create a Timeline

Timelines are important in that they produce a visual concept of the incident as dates and time are concerned. Identity crimes are complicated, and a timeline releases the investigator from committing these details to memory when it comes to evaluating data and conducting interviews. An examination of the timeline reveals any lack of detail that may need to be addressed and eventually gives supervisors and the prosecutor the ability to understand the case. Each entry into the timeline should note the source of the information and should only deal with event time.

Build the Cast of Characters

Keep track of all the actors, locations and businesses involved. Each needs to be identified by their various identities or appearances. Listing out this information frees up the investigator from memorizing all the individual details and connections and where the information is located for reference during the investigation.

Conduct Link Analysis

Use your department resources as well as FTC’s ID Theft Clearinghouse on Consumer Sentinelhttps://register.consumersentinel.gov/ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office NICLE programhttp://www.usdoj.gov/usao/pae/News/Pr/2008/jul/niclerelease.pdf.

Putting all the information together in a manner that relates persons, places and events through phone records, IP addresses, etc., is a challenge that can overwhelm a single detective assigned to a complex case. Nevertheless, it is an important aspect that is required in some cases to take down a whole criminal organization right to the top.

Create an Evidence Book with an Index

· Include your timeline and cast of characters.

· Note any follow-up steps on missing or newly important documents including:

· Customer record

· Signature card

· Credit application

· Transaction history

· Payment history and method (online or mail)

· Addresses and telephone numbers associated with the account

· Additional authorized users

· Videos of any in-person transactions

Look for Common Points of Compromise Across Different Crimes and/or Additional Victims

Remember that these crimes are rarely isolated, and that they often have companion crimes, as they are instrumental in concealing another crime or in creating financial gain for the perpetrator.

Collaborate & Share Information

As the case progresses, the requirement for outside agencies and investigators from financial institutions assisting the investigation will become necessary. This necessity will be based on your agency’s jurisdiction or an element of the crime or ability to access persons, places or things outside its authority. In some circumstances a federal agency may be the correct organization to conduct the primary investigation.

How Information is Obtained and Used

How do perpetrators acquire identifying information belonging to victims? It may be helpful to consider the many ways that the information is obtained:

Stealing

Purses, wallets containing credit cards, driver’s license, Social Security card.

Mail: perpetrators complete a false change-of-address form, obtaining credit information, convenience checks, etc., from the victim’s mail or the victim’s financial institution.

Trash/Dumpster Diving: Identifying information from discarded documents, e.g., credit card statements.

Breaking and Entering, Burglary

Financial records and other personal information about accounts.

Stolen computers have personal information stored inside.

Impersonating

Posing as a landlord, potential employer, etc., the perpetrator gains access to a credit report.

Obtaining information through friends or employers of the victim (e.g., gaining access to HR files).

Pretexting

Contacting the victim or their financial institution under a pretext and asking for, and gaining, the personal information.

Shoulder Surfing

Observing the victim while he/she uses personal information and making a copy of it.

Skimming

Using an electronic device to lift data from a credit or debit card and “swiping” the information for transfer to a counterfeit card.

Purchasing

Perpetrators may purchase information, even legally, and use or sell it for identity crime.

Gaining Unauthorized Electronic Access

Exploiting computer network vulnerabilities to obtain unauthorized access (steal) sensitive personal information. Vulnerabilities include things such as weak passwords, poorly protected wireless transmissions, personal information that is not adequately segmented from the rest of a network or the Internet, or not adequately logging access to networks or monitoring logs.

Once obtained, how is the information likely to be used?

Here are some of the most common ways that perpetrators use stolen information:

Personal Information: Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number

This is sufficient to open a new credit card account, which could be mailed to a false address, and therefore used until the victim becomes aware of it. Other uses include: opening a new bank account and writing bad checks, obtaining loans, signing leases, and filing for bankruptcy in the victim’s name (to avoid paying debts incurred, or to avoid eviction from house/apartment. obtained in the victim’s name), mortgage fraud, medical and/or other insurance fraud, etc. Also used for criminal concealment, fraudulent obtaining of employment or government benefits as well as committing tax fraud. Many of these crimes can include creating altered or forged driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, passports and other identity documents.

Credit Card Numbers

Making purchases, sometimes including calling the credit company and changing the mailing address to delay the victim’s knowledge of bad charges.

Requesting “convenience checks” which can be written for cash against a credit card account. Again, often after changing the mailing address or having access to the victim’s mailbox.

Committing balance transfer fraud - using the victim’s account to do a balance transfer to an account opened and controlled by the defendant, then using the cash feature of the card to withdraw funds. This method allows a $5,000 credit limit card to suffer a $100,000 loss.

Counterfeited debit and/or credit cards

Enables the perpetrator to deplete all accounts.

Tools

In identity crime, it is rare that the perpetrator is caught on his/her first offense and is highly likely that the crime the victim is reporting is not an isolated incident. It may also be helpful to remember that the victim often knows the perpetrator and/or has provided him/her with the information in the first place, believing it was to be used for a legitimate purpose.

According to an FTC survey from 2006, in 16% of all cases, the victim personally knew the person who had misused their personal information. Of those who could personally identify the perpetrator, 6% said a family member or relative had misused their personal information; 8% named a friend, neighbor, or in-home employee; and 2% said the thief was a co-worker.18

The first step will be identifying the perpetrator. To aid in identification, study the crime and determine the two weak points for an identity crime - the contact point, or means by which the perpetrator contacted the victim, and the drop point, or physical location where an item, record, card or merchandise was sent. For example, if the victim information was used at a bank Web site to open a credit card account, the bank site will record the IP address of the computer used to open the account, and will have a verified e-mail to send account information. A search warrant for records can help reveal the suspect’s Internet service provider and physical location of access.

If the account was opened over the phone, most bank sites will record the ANI or caller ID number of the call made to open the account. The telephone number provides a basic place to start the investigation.

Drop points can be shipping addresses for merchandise, mailing addresses for statements, stores where the cards were or are being used, or ATMs where money is withdrawn. The drop point helps to identify the physical location of the thief and can provide valuable working points for search warrants. Don’t forget to check these locations for video of the transactions or for the records of delivery.

In addition, it is important that in any investigation all of the computer forensic evidence is gathered and analyzed. The hard drive of a computer (and other digital media) offer important evidence that can be quite fragile. It is helpful to reach out to specialists to help with the seizure and analysis of such evidence. Contact the National White Collar Crime Center for help online http://www.nw3c.org or by calling (804) 273-6932.

Many of the investigative techniques useful in other criminal investigations can serve to gather evidence in identity crimes as well. Important information can be found in:

· Suspect’s trash

· Suspect’s residence or automobile

· Suspect’s computer, cellular phone, PDA or other wireless device

· If you are able to get IP addresses linked to the application for fraudulent new accounts, it may be possible to get a court order for the subscriber information from the financial institution.

Investigators should not overlook using officers from other agencies as a resource when they hit a roadblock in an investigation. Each identity crime case has different nuances, and working collaboratively can leverage the collective wisdom, skills and experiences of many of your colleagues in neighboring agencies.

Sometimes identity crimes are deceptively low-tech. Consider the suspect who writes down a credit card number and name, then uses the phone book to get a matching address, then uses that information to buy things over the telephone.

Investigators may also want to pay special attention to mapping the small crimes in a jurisdiction. Using a pin map, it may be possible to see patterns in where credit information is routinely swiped, stolen and used. Postal inspectors can be brought in to help as well.

Other agencies can help to gather information leading to the suspect:

National Crime Information Center (NCIC)

Has the suspect been arrested using the victim’s identity? Has he/she been arrested for any other identity crimes? A check of NCIC, a computerized index of criminal justice data such as criminal record history, fugitives, stolen properties, missing persons, etc., may provide useful information. It is available to federal, state, and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fbi/is/ncic.htm.

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

A mail cover is the process by which a nonconsensual record is made of any data appearing on the outside cover of sealed or unsealed mail; or by which a record is made of the contents of any unsealed mail, as allowed by law, to obtain information to protect national security; locate a fugitive; obtain evidence of the commission or attempted commission of a crime; obtain evidence of a violation or attempted violation of a postal statute; or assist in the identification of property, proceeds, or assets forfeitable under law. A mail cover may be helpful in investigating identity crimes. Visit this Web site for more information on requesting a mail cover: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/privacy-policy/intelligent-mail-privacy.htm.

Postal Inspectors can also help with information about change of addresses the suspects may have made using the victim’s information or their own. Also, if the suspect is using a Post Office Box at either the Post Office or with a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA), a Postal Inspector will be able to help you obtain the information used to open the P.O. Box.

Registry of Motor Vehicles

Did the suspect obtain a driver’s license under the victim’s name/information?

Privately Operated Databases

Services like Auto Track XP http://atxp.choicepoint.com/, Lexis/Nexis,http://www.lexisnexis.com/ or ChoicePoint http://www.choicepoint.com/ offer paid subscribers access to billions of records with easy search functionality, and Black Book for Investigators http://www.blackbookonline.info/ provides easy access to public records free of charge.

Techniques

The Preliminary Investigation

Identity crimes are rarely contained in one jurisdiction. Every case requires investigators to determine the point of compromise of the victim's identity – that is where the offender may have obtained the victim's identification information. This will help lead to possible suspects, and often to additional victims.

Properly structured preliminary investigation saves investigative time, involves the victim in resolution of the theft, and lays the foundation for prosecution.

The investigation starts with the victim's report of the crime. As mentioned in previous sections, victims need to help prepare for the investigation by gathering the following:

· Date of birth, driver's license number, Social Security number, telephone numbers (work, home, and cellular), and e-mail addresses of every victim in the household;

· A recent copy of at least one of their credit reports generated since the crime occurred;

· Account numbers involved in the theft and the names of primary and secondary account holders;

· When and how the fraud or theft was discovered, and under what circumstances the victim became aware of the identity crime;

· Exact locations (addresses, businesses, persons involved) where fraudulent use of the identity occurred;

· Name, addresses (home and work), phone numbers, date of birth of every person involved in the incident;

· Names of financial institutions the victim has notified of the theft, along with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of customer service representatives or investigators who accepted the report, the dates and times of the reports, a brief summary of the conversation, and copies of any e-mail messages or faxes sent to or received from the financial institutions;

· Photocopies of any letters, account statements, and other documents associated with the case;

· A chronological log of the theft and the victim's actions since discovering it, to include information about the discovery of theft or fraud, possible locations of the theft, and names or descriptions of persons around when the theft might have occurred.

The Federal Trade Commission has created a Universal ID Theft Complaint Form to record most of the details listed above that the victim knows about the crime. This form can be completed online at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

During the early stages of the investigation it is important to determine the motive. The motive will help direct the investigation. The motive for financial crimes is usually greed, drugs or revenge. Determining the motive requires investigators to conduct a detailed interview with the victim.

The U.S. Secret Service has developed a questionnaire filled with a variety of useful information to the investigator for victims to fill out that can be used as a valuable tool at this stage of investigation. It is available as part of Appendix A of this toolkit.

The Continued Investigation

Next steps taken by the investigator should be to examine all financial and credit bureau documents. These documents are useful and vital pieces of evidence to tie suspects to the crime and eventual prosecution. For help with this step, the investigator can contact appropriate state and local agencies, as well as the following federal agencies:

· Federal Bureau of Investigation

· Secret Service

· Social Security Administration

· Postal Inspection Service

· Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The Secret Service has a program called the eInformation Network, an intranet site that is available, for free, to law enforcement agencies and investigators. It is an important tool for investigators in accessing bank and credit card information. For more information, go to www.einformation.usss.gov.

The resources available on the Secret Service eInformation Network include the following:

· Bank identification number search

· Credit card and skimming information

· Counterfeit check database

· Genuine and counterfeit identification document database

· Cyber crime resources

· Fraudulent document database

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is another excellent network for investigating identity crimes and other financial crimes. FinCEN links databases maintained by the law enforcement, financial and regulatory communities. Its purpose is to collect, analyze, and share information with law enforcement agencies. FinCEN accesses approximately 37 different and independent databases in three main categories: law enforcement, financial and commercial. The databases include AutoTrack, LexisNexis, the Social Security Administration Death Master File, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service databases, to name a few. Visit the FinCEN Website athttp://www.fincen.gov.

Another valuable tool for investigators is the use of informants. Investigators should develop informants from potential suspects during the investigation. Investigators should also identify possible informants by using intelligence from other law enforcement agencies or the private sector. A good technique to develop informants is using other people who participated in some capacity in the identity crime, such as a store employee who sold goods knowing the suspect was using someone else's identity.

Investigators should consider using other means to gain access to privileged information, including obtaining federal cooperation and funds, seeking state and federal RICO statute investigations, or using forfeiture statutes to gain access to financial records. Above all, investigators should always follow the money – this is an appropriate investigative technique in any financial crime.

Other things to remember:

· Contact the FTC Consumer Sentinel Network and search the database for investigative leads. www.ftc.gov/sentinel.

· Contact other involved or potentially involved law enforcement agencies for collaboration and avoidance of duplication.

Obtaining Financial Information

Accessing financial information for any fraud case can be a daunting task for the investigator, especially when cooperation is lacking. It is imperative that the investigator gains cooperation from both the victim and the financial organization.

There are three ways of getting the financial information needed for an identity theft case: (1) search warrant, (2) subpoena power (3) consent. Consent is the simplest and most cost-effective.

Ask the victim to begin gathering and providing documentation to include the following:

· Bank and credit card statements

· Letters from creditors

· Merchant account statements

· Any other financial documentation related to the crime

Ask the victim to obtain and voluntarily provide the credit reports from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Under the 2003 amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the victim must contact their creditor’s fraud or security department in writing to request that they send transaction records related to the crime to the investigator. Otherwise, a subpoena is needed from the courts.

Advise the victim to keep a log or a diary of everything they do or everyone they talk with regarding the crime. This can be used as part of the victim impact statement during any subsequent court proceeding. The FTC or ID Theft Resources Center provides valuable information on how victims can organize their identity crime cases.

The investigator should contact the financial institution or merchant security departments and ask for (or subpoena) documentation on all fraudulent or suspect accounts.

Identifying Additional Victims

There are many reasons why an investigator should locate and identify additional victims, but among the most important is to ascertain if there is a larger, organized ring victimizing the community. One way of doing this is by querying the FTC Clearinghouse for other reported complaints that may be related to the case. Investigators can also contact other agencies in the area to determine if there have been similar crimes reported and possibly connected. If that is the case, these agencies can combine resources and personnel into a task force to combat the crime.

Case Preparation

Filing the case criminally can be another daunting adventure. However, if the case is well prepared, the criminal prosecutor will be better equipped to file the case. As noted earlier, the best way of preparing the case is having the victim play a role by taking and keeping notes or a diary, requesting and collecting financial information regarding the crime and taking an overall interest and partnership in the case.

The key to getting an identity crime case filed and getting a successful conviction is organization. It is also helpful if the investigator has an outline of the particular law that is sought for filing when dealing with district attorneys who are unfamiliar with the law. List the requested charges and enhancements on the charging sheet, along with any additional charges.

A case synopsis is also a good way to give the prosecutor a summary of your case. It is your case’s “facts-at-a-glance” sheet. Tailor this sheet to match what the prosecutor looks for in a case. This is helpful when your prosecutor is trying to decide on whether to prosecute your case, and also when you share your case information with other agencies.

Troubleshooting

Obstacle

Solutions, Tips, Help

Banks and credit companies won’t release the financial information and records needed for the investigation to anyone but the victim.

FCRA Section 609(e) states that it is the victim’s right to get copies of applications and business records that relate to the victim’s identity theft without a subpoena from any company that transacted any business with the thief who was using the victim’s identity. The victim can also require the company to provide a copy of all of the records to a law enforcement officer. All copies must be provided at no charge to the consumer or the officer. ANY request, if it contains the enclosures required by law (including a law enforcement report), triggers the Section 609(e) requirement on the company.

We have no dedicated investigators and/or specialized units to help with these crimes.

· Consider the VIPS solution – using citizen volunteers including retired law enforcement and bank security officials. For example, the city of Pasadena (CA) C.R.E.D.I.T. program expanded the department’s resources to deal with these crimes and provides much needed support to both victims and investigators.http://www.cityofpasadena.net/police/media/MediaReleases/2004/2004%20-%20C.R.E.D.I.T.%20Program%208-3.pdf.

· Work closely with affected financial institutions; bring their investigators in as partners that will expand your resources and improve your access to key information.

· Contact the National White Collar Crime Center [NW3C]http://www.nw3c.org/isupport/overview.cfm that provides support services for member agencies who are involved in the investigation or prosecution of a white collar, high tech or cyber crime. Services include analytical support, public database searches and case funding. Analysts can assist in establishing financial transaction patterns, developing links between criminal targets and associated criminal activity and providing link charts, timelines and graphs for court presentations.

· In cases of skimming and other high tech crimes, partner with your local IT companies as an additional resource.

These crimes take too much time to investigate.

Visit www.gethuman.com to get quickly to an agent (instead of a voice mail menu). This should save some time and assist smaller departments to get more quickly to the people within financial institutions who can help.

The U.S. Secret Service E-Information Network has contacts to many of the fraud investigators at financial institutions.

The department does not collect information on these crimes; makes it hard to track progress.

As of now, the UCR coding for identity crimes is fraud. Departments seeking to report identity crime through UCR forms can attach information as comments, within the “open section,” on the crime report form.

Sharing Information

Responding

Investigating

Local law enforcement must:

1. Take a detailed report

2. Provide victims with copies of the report

3. Help victims identify areas where they can turn for help with the recovery process

Local law enforcement in partnership with:

· Federal Bureau of Investigation www.fbi.gov

· The Federal Trade Commissionwww.ftc.gov

· Immigration and Customs Enforcement www.ice.gov

· Internal Revenue Servicewww.irs.gov

· Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (OIG)www.ssa.gov

· U.S. Department of Justice www.usdoj.gov

· U.S. Department of Defense www.defenselink.mil

· U.S. Department of Statewww.state.gov

· U.S. Postal Inspection Service http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov

· U.S. Secret Service http://www.secretservice.gov/

The FTC has an Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse www.ftc.gov/sentinel, a national database of more than 1.6 million identity crime complaints that allows search for suspect, identity crime victim, or defrauded company information across the country. Using the Consumer Sentinel Network, investigators can reach out to federal, state or local law enforcement officers in other jurisdictions to assist in your investigations or with your victims. Sentinel users can place alerts on suspects, companies or victims to let other law enforcers know that you have an active investigation on those targets. Users can schedule automatic searches on specific suspect information or companies they you are interested in and get e-mail notifications. Sentinel users can download the complaint data to their desktop to manipulate it or bring into their own data system.

The FBI hosts n-DEX - Law Enforcement National Data Exchange to facilitate information sharing among investigators https://www.fbi.gov/.

The United States Secret Service offers a database of information, which includes contacts at financial institutions, a check fraud database, and a database of various electronic tools used by identity thieves, as well as free online training in electronic crimes Forward Edge II. http://www.forwardedge2.com.

Original Article Source:

http://www.theiacp.org/investigateid/introduction/ - http://www.theiacp.org/investigateid/investigation/nuts-and-bolts-of-investigation/

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