Canyon County

Idaho


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Financial Crime
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Fraud Investigations

The Canyon County Sheriff's Office Financial Crimes Unit is responsible for investigating a wide range of complex financial crimes including Fraud, Theft by Deception and Theft by False Promise.

Fraud

Fraud occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally conceals, misrepresents, and makes false statement to either deny or obtain some monetary benefit, or otherwise profit from the victim.  The key to conviction is proving in court that the suspect knowingly or intentionally made the misrepresentation or concealment.

The following are some of the more common financial crimes investigated by the Financial Crimes Unit of the Sheriff's Office:

Elder Abuse/Fiduciary Fraud

Elder Abuse/Fiduciary Fraud typically involves a caretaker, and acquaintance or even a family member.  The victims of these crimes are the elderly or vulnerable adults who often suffer from physical or mental disabilities, making daily life difficult. The suspect gains control over the victim's assets.  Once in control, the suspect will usually drain the victim's accounts and transfer assets to themselves.  These crimes against elderly and vulnerable adults are prosecuted under Idaho Statute.

Identity Theft

Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States with over nine million victims annually.  This crime will impact one out of every four people.  Identity theft is when a suspect gains access to your personal information and/or account numbers, then assumes your identity and goes on a spending spree.  It is an invisible crime that victims only discover after they receive a bill, collection notice or attempt to make a large purchase such as a car, and then realize their credit has been destroyed. 

Not only do identity theft victims spend money out of pocket to clear up their records, but they also must devote their time-up to hundreds of hours in some cases doing so.  In the meantime, victims are unjustly harassed by debt collectors, denied credit or employment opportunities, and in some cases even lose their cars, or their homes.

You don't have to be a victim of identity theft for personal information to fall into the wrong hands.  In the course of a busy day, how often might you share information about yourself in person, on the phone, or over the internet? Although it is impossible to guarantee that identity theft won't happen to you, there are ways to reduce your chances of becoming a victim.  Most victims don't discover the crime until it is too late.  It can take a long time to reverse the damage these criminals can do to your credit rating.  Any of these indicators could mean that you have become a victim of identity theft:

  • Mysterious bills for accounts you are not aware of
  • Phone calls from creditors about delinquent payments you don't recognize
  • Mail from unknown lenders asking for additional information
Address

1115 Albany St.
Room 137
Caldwell, ID 83605

Email: sheriffsoffice@canyonco.org
Phone: (208) 454-7510




Contact Information

Residents of Canyon County who believe they are the victim of Fraud or an Identity Theft crime may call the
Financial Crimes Unit

208-454-7483

Monday -Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

or

Call Dispatch 24/7 
208-454-7531

What to do if you believe you are a victim

If you believe you are the victim of a Fraud or an Identity Theft crime, contact your local Sheriff's Office or Police Department to report the crime, and:

  • Notify your financial institutions and ask if they have an identity theft assistance program
  • Contact the three major credit bureaus (Equifax / Experian / Transunion) and request a "Fraud Alert" to be placed in your credit file
  • Complete any "Affidavit of Forgery" form that creditors may require and provide a copy of the police report if requested
  • Send a "dispute letter" to any of the companies that issued your misused account asking them to remove the charges
  • If you feel that legitimate accounts may have been compromised, contact those financial institutions right away
  • As a victim, it is highly recommended that you contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the fraud and file a complaint. The FTC is the national repository for tracking identity theft frauds. Click here to electronically file your FTC Identity Theft Complaint Input Form.
  • Keep a record of credit bureaus, banks and law enforcement agencies you have contacted while attempting to clear up your credit file
  • If you suspect Social Security number misuse, call the Social Security Fraud Line at (800) 269-0271. You can also file a complaint online at http:www.socialsecurity.gov/oig

Tips on how to avoid becoming a victim

Avoiding identity theft is not simple, but there are several common sense things customers can do:

  • Keep personal information in a safe place and avoid storing important documents in easily accessible places like glove boxes or day planners
  • Don't give your social security or account number over the phone to anyone who has called you, or to anyone you don't know. Don't be afraid to ask why your personal information is needed and how it will be used
  • Shred all documents that contain personal information before tossing them out. Never simply toss out documents that contain your social security number in the trash.
  • Cancel your paper bills and statements wherever possible and instead check your statements and pay bills on-line from financial institution secure websites
  • Monitor your account balances and activity electronically (at least once a week)
  • If you don't have access to on-line accounts, review your paper bank and credit card statements monthly
  • Refrain from carrying unnecessary information such as PINs, passwords, or social security numbers in your wallet or purse
  • Retrieve paper mail from your mailbox promptly and deposit outgoing mail containing sensitive information in a secure mailbox

Click on the links below for additional Fraud and Identity Theft Prevention information:

PHISHING Con E-Mail: This is a term used when the identity thieves send out a very official looking E-mail to try and get you to provide them with your personal information. They will try to fool you into thinking your bank has sent the E-mail by placing the bank's logo in the message. The E-mail will ask you to verify your personal information, i.e. your social security number or account number. Once the identity thieves have this information they may use it to apply for new credit in your name, or make a withdrawal from your account. Your bank already has this information and will never ask you to verify this information via E-mail. Be very aware of this type of scheme.

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1115 Albany St. Caldwell, Idaho 83605 | Phone: (208) 454-7300