Fraud disguises itself in many forms. The Economic Crimes Detail is responsible for investigating crimes associated with credit card and check fraud, grand theft, theft of public funds, embezzlement, theft by false pretenses, consumer fraud, a variety of business fraud, identity theft, and elder financial abuse. The detail is comprised of one Sergeant, eight Investigators, and two Investigative Assistants.
Checks/ Credit Cards
The Economic Crimes Detail is responsible for the investigation of cases involving check forgery, check washing, counterfeit checks, non-sufficient funds checks over $5000.00, counterfeit credit cards, fraudulent use of credit cards, and fraudulently possession of credit cards.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department does not investigate Non-Sufficient Funds checks under $5,000. By agreement with the Orange County District Attorney's Office, these cases are referred to the District Attorney's Bad Check Program. Below is a link to a Worthless Document Report form, which is used as the Initial Crime Report for merchants and the public to complete if they feel they have fallen victim to crimes such as non-sufficient funds, account closed checks, forged and counterfeit checks, and credit card fraud. After completing the Worthless Document Report form, the report can be sent to:
Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Economic Crimes Detail
550 North Flower St.
Santa Ana, CA 92703
Identity Theft involves any instance where a person uses someone else’s identification, documents, or other identifiers in order to impersonate that person or business for whatever reason. Per California Penal Code 530.6, if an individual has learned or suspects that his or her personal identifying information has been unlawfully used by another, and he or she lives within the Orange County Sheriff’s Department jurisdiction, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department will document the crime and send the report to the jurisdiction where the crime occurred for further investigation.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has developed an Identity Theft pamphlet as a quick reference guide on identity theft and how to respond if you have become a victim. Victims of identity theft should also refer to the Credit Report section of this web page, since your credit may have been adversely effected. A link to download the pamphlet is posted below.
There are numerous tricks that criminals use to get money or property from you. Their tactics and approaches change often. If you are unsure if you are being scammed, please call the Economic Crimes Detail at (714) 647-7486. We will be happy to assist you.
Consumers can obtain free copies of their credit reports every year from the three major credit agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The public's access to free copies of their reports, which track the amount of debt consumers have and whether they pay their bills on time, was mandated by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. The law, better known as the FACT Act, was designed to help Americans better monitor the reports that are used by banks and merchants to determine if they will lend to a consumer and at what interest rate.
If you are a victim of identity theft, consider freezing your credit. A credit freeze is a great way to protect yourself against identity theft and it will assist in stopping new credit from being established fraudulently. Effective September 21, 2018, a new Federal Law allows individuals to place free credit freezes and a year-long fraud alert with the three credit reporting agencies.
How Can I Get My Free Report?
Consumers can go to www.annualcreditreport.com where they can request their reports online. If you do not wish to complete the online form, you can call the toll-free number, (877) 322-8228, or mail a request to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
It will take about 15 days to process phone and mail requests. If you use the online request site, you will be asked for personal information so the credit agencies can match them accurately with their reports. This will include your name, date of birth, address and other personal information that only you should know.
What Do I Look For When I Get The Report?
- Accounts that are not yours.
- Any delinquencies that are still on the report after the seven-year time limit has passed.
- Notices of late payments.
- Multiple collection-agency notices for a single debt.