Identity theft is a general term to describe crimes that occur when a person poses as another person or business to commit crimes. The crimes range from the simple fraudulent use of a stolen credit cards or checks to false impersonation of another, in which the criminal completely assumes the identity of another.
Identity Theft & Fraud
Crime Trends in Fresno related to ID Theft and Frauds:
- Suspects Adding themselves to your Credit/Debit Cards and/or Bank Account
- Mystery Shopper or Secret Shopper
- Work at Home Scams
- Purchasing Vehicles via the Internet
- Relative or friend needs you to Wire money
- Sweepstakes and Lotteries
- Want Ads – Selling Items
1. Make a police report to your law enforcement agency where you live or to the City or County where the fraudulent activity occurred.
2. Help the police identify who is using your identity!
ID theft is the fastest growing crime in the nation. Due to the overabundance of crimes reported in Fresno, we do not have sufficient personnel to obtain evidence in every reported case. Video evidence is necessary to identify who is committing the crime. However, businesses only retain the video for a limited amount of time, usually 14-60 days. Therefore, we need help from the victims to help us obtain the video. Without your help, we may not review your case until the evidence has been destroyed. Click the title for information and forms which will help us get the evidence.
Video evidence is essential when it is available, but many suspects use the internet to commit the crime. Therefore, we need to get documentary evidence from the Financial Institution/Credit card company to give us leads to the suspect, Different companies require different documents, and some require their own specific forms. Click here for specific information and forms
3. We need supporting documents to prove the criminal activity occurred. Send copies of statements, letters, credit report, social security statements, etc to the Fresno Police Department. Include your case number on the documents. For online reports, please wait to send your documents until after you receive your Permanent Case Number by email. If the number begins with the letter “T” the number is temporary and your documents will wait to be reviewed until we have time to research and locate the permanent number, this will slow down your case.
- If someone is using your social security number for employment, we need a copy of your social security card and a copy of your CDL/Photo ID
- Documents usually include accurate information along with the fraudulent information. We cannot tell what is fraudulent or accurate, but you can. Be sure to clearly asterisk * or mark the fraudulent activity. Do not use highlighters as it does not copy. Attaching an explanation is also helpful.
- If the offense is a check offense we need the front and back of the check
- If you have cancelled checks from the bank, and they have fingerprints on them, we need the original checks
- Be sure you keep a copy of the information you sent us
- Include your case number on the documents you send
Send documents to the Fresno Police Department
- Mail to the Fresno Police Department, Financial Crimes Unit, 2323 Mariposa Mall, Fresno, CA 93715
- Fax to (559) 621-6332
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Complete the PC 530.8 release form to give Fresno PD the right to obtain evidence in your case without a search warrant. If there is more than one business involved, complete multiple forms. If unknown, leave the business name blank. This requires you include the permanent case number which will be emailed to you
5. Protect yourself from further victimization!
6. Report your crime to the National Database.
- The Federal Trade Commission maintains a national database to track ID theft related crimes. More importantly, they research this database to look for crime patterns. Use this link to report your crime
- If the Internet or computer was used to facilitate any crime, please report the crime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. This database is operated by the FBI. They will also provide crime pattern information to local agencies. If the crime is part of a nationwide pattern, the FBI can choose to investigate the crime. Report your internet crime here
- If you sent money to another country, the Fresno Police Department cannot investigate. The Federal Trade Commission has a relationship with some countries and they will share this information with them. Use this link to report international crimes
Preventing ID theft or catching the fraud early is the best approach. Many victims do not even realize they have been victims for over a year, making the crime harder to investigate. Victims must spend their own time to fix the damage to their credit and try to recoup losses. The national average is for an ID theft victim to spend 600 hours on their crime. It’s better to prevent the crime or catch the ID theft early. There are many methods that you can use to reduce your chances of being a victim and easy ways to catch the crime early. Click the title for ideas.
ID theft resources: The Federal Trade Commission provides up to date information about Identity theft. Click here to go to for several internet resources. Websites for victims
Get a copy of your report and keep copies of everything related to your crime:
How do I get a copy of my police report?
- An online report will be sent to you by email.
- If you did not make an online report, you must contact our records section.
- By telephone (559) 621-2534
- In person at FPD Headquarters. 2323 Mariposa, Fresno 10-2 Monday through Friday. Be aware, the lines are long and you could wait several hours.
Q – I reported my crime to my financial institution or Credit Card Company. Do I still have to make a report?
A – Yes, the companies to do not tell the police about their fraud investigation unless we ask. The only way for us to ask is to read the police report.
Q – Do I have to send supporting documents in order for my crime to be investigated?
A – No, cases are assigned based upon a variety of factors, to include being involved in a crime pattern. The supporting documents provide more information, and allow us to request evidence from other sources. This evidence often links to a crime pattern, which enhances the chances of your case being investigated.
Q – I have investigative leads, such as a suspect name or address. Will my case be automatically assigned?
A – No, this information is taken into consideration. However, we know that ID theft suspects often use the name and address of another victim to perpetrate their crime.
Q – I have not been called by a detective. Why?
A – You will not get a call by a detective unless the case is assigned and the detective needs additional information from you.
Q – I need to add additional information to my report. How do I add the information?
A – You can add a supplemental report to your case online. Be sure to click the supplemental button, and put in your report number. You may even add to a report that was not originally done online. Just check the box that says: “You are adding information to a previous report, which was reported to an officer.”
Q – Why wasn’t my case assigned?
A – The Financial Crimes Unit does not have sufficient staff to assign all cases. The supervisor reviews reports to determine if a case will be assigned. Factors that are considered are dollar loss, if the crime is involved in a crime pattern, if the suspect is a known fraud suspect, and investigation leads.
Q – What can I do to enhance my chances of my case being assigned?
A – Provide supporting documents and evidence.
Identity thieves are opening credit accounts in victim’s name, plus adding themselves onto existing accounts. We need specific information to obtain evidence from the companies, so it is best to give us copies of your rejection letters, credit cards so we have all the information we need. If you don’t have letters from the companies, many times we have to provide your social security number so they can find the fraudulent account. Many financial institutions/credit card companies require that we send in an authorization, signed by the victim before they will give us any information. PC 530.8 release form
Some companies require their own forms or specific documents in addition to the release form, or they will give us no information.
Comenity (Buckle, Victoria Secrets, Dress Barn, Pac Sun – etc) requires the signed PC 530.8 release form, a fraud affidavit and a copy of your CDL/Photo ID. The affidavit can be theirs, or any other affidavit
Target requires their specific release form , and a copy of your CDL/Photo ID.
Macy’s / Bloomingdale’s requires the signed PC 530.8 release form, their specific fraud affidavit and a copy of your CDL/Photo ID.