Theft Task Force
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Beaumont Police Department
255 College Street
P.O. Box 3827
Beaumont, TX 77704
How To Make A
If the crime is in progress, call 911.
If you are reporting an old forgery, credit card/debit card
abuse, worthless check or identity theft, call 409-880-3862
to make the report over the phone between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You can also file
a report online at any time by going to the Beaumont Police
Department Police to
Citizen (P2C) website.
When sending any documents to the
Beaumont Police Department, please be sure to include your
case number. Documents received without a case number will
Please complete the
Crimes Statment in additional to all other required
documentation. If at all possible, we prefer that you
mail or fax all information to the address/fax number listed
below. Because of the volume of work done daily, it is very
hard to see victims on a face to face basis. If you must
bring information in to our office, please call ahead for an
appointed time, so that we can make sure there is ample time
to see to your specific needs. Once we have received the
above documents, your case will be reviewed to determine if
there is sufficient information available to proceed with an
investigation. The investigator assigned your case will
notify you if further information is required. Your
cooperation is appreciated.
Department Fraud Unit
P.O. Box 3827
Beaumont, Texas 77704
Phone: (409) 880-3830 (Hours 8:00 am -
5:00 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays)
Fax: (409) 880-3895
In order to file a
worthless check complaint, the following procedure must be
The check must have been returned from
the bank marked either "Insufficient Funds," "Account
Closed" or "Stopped Payment."
A "Worthless Check Notice" (10-day)
letter must be sent by certified mail, return receipt
requested. Mail the letter to the address shown on the check
and address it to the person who signed the check. This is
state law and required for all worthless check cases. If the
claim stub (green card) is returned, signed and dated, then
the 10-day waiting period starts from the date the letter
was claimed. However, you may bring in the unclaimed letter
along with the check as soon as it is returned to you.
You must complete
one "Felony Check Statement"
for each check you wish to file
charges. You must either be able to pick the person who
passed the check out of a photo line-up or have taken proper
identification at the time the check was passed. If the
check is less then $1,500 you must file your case directly
with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and not
the Beaumont Police Department. If the check is $1,500 or
more, you should call 409-880-3862 to make the report over
the phone between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday,
excluding holidays. You can also file a report online at any
time by going to the Beaumont Police Department
Citizen (P2C) website. You are required to complete one
offense report for each check. After completing your offense
report and obtaining a case number, you must download and
complete the "Felony Check Statement". You will be contacted
by a detective to provide the documents and original
The following checks are not accepted
for investigation by the Beaumont Police Department:
Third Party Checks
Accepted for Payment on Account
Rent or Mortgage Checks
Post Dated Checks
The following individuals/institutions
may report credit/debit card abuse to the Beaumont Police
Cardholder: If the card was stolen in
the commission of a robbery, theft or burglary, be sure and
list the card and number in the original offense report you
make with the Beaumont Police Department. It is not
necessary to make a separate report at this stage. If only
the card or card number was stolen, then you may make an
offense report for credit/debit card abuse.
Institution: You may file a report if the offense has not
already been reported. If the cardholder provides you with a
case number specifically for credit/debit card abuse, use
that case number for all purposes, including submitting
merchant forms and other additional information.
Police Department will only investigate offenses where the
card was physically passed in the Beaumont city limits or if
used online and the items purchased were shipped to or the
benefit gained at an address within the Beaumont city
limits. All other reports will be cleared as unfounded and
not assigned to a detective.
your report online and receiving a case number, write the
case number on all forms before mailing. Submit all required
forms at one time. The forms and report will be reviewed and
assigned to detectives based upon factors that affect the
ability to file the case with the Jefferson County District
Merchant Form -- A Merchant Form must
be completed by the merchant at each location the card was
Credit-Debit Card Affidavit -- The account holder must
complete and provide this form before any case is
investigated. This form must be notarized.
Non-Consent Form -- This form is
required in all cases.
reporting a forgery is normally the person or business that
is going to suffer the financial loss. That person or
business will either have the original returned check or a
bank certified copy in lieu of the original document. Just
because a check was passed/drawn on your account does not
mean you are the person that will be reporting the offense.
You must have the
original returned check or bank certified copy to make an
offense report. Only checks physically passed within the
Beaumont city limits will be investigated. The checks must
have been passed in person and the suspect either positively
identified or known to the victim.
your report online and receiving a case number, write your
case number on all forms before mailing. Submit all required
forms at one time. Do not mail any original checks or other
evidence. The forms and report will be reviewed and assigned
to detectives based upon factors that affect the ability to
file the case with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s
Office. If your case is accepted for investigation, you will
be contacted by the detective.
MERCHANTS -- The account holder may have already completed
an offense report for the actual theft of the checks. This
theft case is not normally investigated. Each merchant must
make their own offense report for forgery.
-- The merchant or
financial institution, who is normally the victim, must
complete one Merchant Form for each forged check being
submitted. If you are submitting 10 checks, you must submit
10 Merchant Forms.
Affidavit of Forgery -- The merchant
must obtain an Affidavit of Forgery from the account holder.
Multiple checks may be listed on one form. An Affidavit of
Forgery is a notarized sworn statement attesting that the
signature which appears on the questioned document is indeed
a forgery and not authorized by the account holder. This
form must be notarized.
-- This form is
required in all cases.
occurs when a crook steals key pieces of personal
identifying information, which may include name, address,
date of birth, SSN and mother’s maiden name, to gain access
to a person’s financial accounts. Armed with this
information, an identity thief may open new credit or
financial accounts, buy cars, apply for loans or Social
Security benefits, rent an apartment, or set up utility and
phone services in someone else’s name.
individuals may report identity theft to the Beaumont Police
A. If you live in the Beaumont city limits and have learned
you are the victim of identity theft regardless of where the
suspects are located, you may make an offense report.
B. If you live outside the Beaumont
city limits, but have documented information that the
address used by the suspects in the commission of the
offense is located within the Beaumont city limits, then you
may make an offense report.
The only cases
that will be assigned to a detective for investigation are
the cases where the suspect is documented as being within
the Beaumont city limits and you provide that information in
the offense report. All other cases are considered
informational cases only which aid the victim in resolving
the many issues that arise from these crimes. The Beaumont
Police Department will not automatically forward any reports
to other law enforcement agencies. If you choose to make a
report with the Beaumont Police Department when the suspects
are located elsewhere, it is your responsibility to report
the offense to the other agency as well.
About Identity Theft
It is important to
remember that the victim of identity theft is a person whose
identity has been fraudulently assumed by another with the
intent to obtain credit, goods, or services without the
victim's consent. No financial loss is necessary. Identity
theft includes the criminal assumption of someone's name,
address, credit card information, driver's license, social
security number and other personal data. Criminals use this
information to impersonate their victims, spending as much
money as they can in as short a time as possible before
moving on to impersonate someone else.
Even though victims are usually not
required to pay their imposters' bills, they are often left
with a bad credit report and must spend months and even
years regaining their financial health. In the meantime,
they have difficulty writing checks, obtaining loans,
renting apartments, and even getting hired. Stealing wallets
used to be the best way identity thieves obtained credit
card numbers and other pieces of identification. Now more
sophisticated means are commonly used:
Accessing your credit report
fraudulently by posing as an employer, loan officer or
landlord and ordering a copy;
Stealing mail from your mailbox to
obtain newly issued credit cards, bank and credit card
statements, pre-approved credit offers, or tax information,
Dumpster diving in your trash containers for discarded
credit card and loan applications.
IDENTITY THEFT PREVENTION TIPS
Police Department suggests the following crime prevention
techniques to avoid becoming a victim of Identity Theft:
the amount of information an identity thief can steal, do
not carry extra credit cards, a social security card, birth
certificate or passport in your wallet or purse, except when
reduce the amount of personal information that is in
circulation consider the following:
Remove your name
from the marketing lists of the three major credit reporting
bureaus, i.e., Equifax, Experian (formerly TRW) and Trans
Union. This will limit the number of pre-approved offers of
credit that you receive. These offers, if thrown away in the
trash, are potential targets of identity thieves who will
use them to order credit cards using your identity.
Sign up for the
Direct Marketing Association Mail Preference Service and the
Telephone Preference Service. By doing this, your name is
added to computerized name deletion lists used by nationwide
Have your name and address removed from telephone books and
Install a locked mailbox at your
residence or business to reduce mail theft or use a post
When you order new checks, do not have
them sent to your home address. Have them sent to a post
office box or arrange to pick them up at your bank.
When you pay
bills, do not place the envelopes containing your checks in
your home mailbox for the letter carrier to pick up. If
stolen, your checks can be altered and cashed by identity
thieves. It is best to mail your checks and other sensitive
mail at the post office rather than your home or
neighborhood mailbox. Write checks with a fine-point
Pay bills with an electronic bill
Reduce the number of credit cards you
actively use to a bare minimum. Carry only one or two credit
cards in your wallet. Cancel all unused credit card
accounts. Even though you do not use these accounts, account
numbers are recorded in your credit report along with other
data that can be used by identity thieves.
Keep a list and/or
photocopy of all your credit cards, account numbers,
expiration dates and telephone numbers of the customer
service and fraud departments in a secure place (not your
wallet or purse) so you can quickly contact your creditors
in case your credit cards are stolen. Do the same with your
Never give out your credit card number
or other personal information over the telephone, unless you
have a trusted business relationship with the person or
company and you have initiated the telephone call. Identity
thieves have been known to call their victims with a fake
story that goes something like this, "Today is your lucky
day! You have been chosen by the "Jane and John Doe
Sweepstakes Committee" to receive a free trip to Europe. All
we need is your credit card number and expiration date to
verify you as the lucky winner."
Order your credit report once a year
from each of the three major credit bureaus to check for
inaccuracies and fraudulent use of your accounts. Make sure
that you recognize every line of information established in
Always take credit card receipts with you. Never throw them
in a public trash container.
Watch the mail when you expect a new
or reissued credit card to arrive. Contact the issuer if the
card does not arrive.
When creating a password or Personal
Identification Number (PIN), do not use the last four digits
of your social security number, date of birth, middle name,
the name of your family pet, consecutive numbers of anything
else that could easily be discovered by identity thieves.
financial institution to add extra security protection to
your account. Most will allow you to use an additional code
(a number or word) when assessing your account. Do not use
your mother's maiden name, as that is all too easily
obtained by identity thieves.
Memorize all your passwords. Do not
record them on anything in your wallet or purse.
social security number. Release it only when absolutely
necessary (tax forms, employment records, most banking,
stock and property transactions). The social security number
is the key to your credit and bank accounts and is a prime
target of identity thieves.
Do not have your social security
number printed on your checks. Do not let merchants write
your social security number on your checks because of the
risk of fraud.
Order your Social Security Earnings
and Benefits Statement once a year to check for fraud.
review your credit card statements for unauthorized use.
throw preapproved credit offers in the trash or in a
recycling container without first shredding them. The
discarded credit offers can be used by identity thieves to
order credit cards in your name and to have the credit cards
mailed to their address.
Do the same with other sensitive
information like credit card receipts. Home shredders can be
purchased at many office supply stores.
institutions to adequately safeguard your data. Request a
special password that only you would know. Memorize all
passwords. Discourage your bank from using the last four
digits of the social security number as the PIN they assign
When you fill out loan applications,
find out how the company disposes of them. If you are not
convinced that they store them in locked files and/or shred
them take your business elsewhere. Some car dealerships,
department stores, car rental agencies, and video stores
have been known to be careless with customer applications.
When you pay by credit card, ask the business how it stores
and disposes of the transaction slip. Avoid paying by credit
card if you think the business does not use adequate
Store your cancelled checks in a safe
place. In the wrong hands, they can reveal a lot of
information about you. Never permit your credit card number
to be written on your checks. It places you at risk of
entity involved in handling personal information should
train all its employees, from the top to the bottom, on
responsible information-handling practices. Persuade the
companies, government agencies and nonprofit agencies with
which you are associated to adopt privacy policies and
conduct privacy training. Employees should be trained to
check picture identification cards when accepting credit
IDENTITY THEFT VICTIM TIPS
If you become the victim of identity
theft, it is important to act immediately to stop the
thief's further use of your identity. Unfortunately, at this
time victims themselves are burdened with resolving the
problem. It is important to act quickly and assertively to
minimize the damage. In dealing with authorities and
financial institutions, keep a log of all conversations,
dates, names, and telephone numbers. Note the time spent and
any expenses incurred. Confirm conversations in writing.
Provide your police report number to expedite reporting the
crime. Send correspondence by certified mail (return receipt
requested). Keep copies of all letters and documents.
Sometimes victims of identity theft are wrongfully accused
of crimes committed by an imposter. If a civil judgment has
been entered in your name for actions taken by an imposter,
contact the court where the judgment was entered and report
that you are a victim of Identity Theft. If you are
wrongfully prosecuted of criminal charges, contact the state
Department of Justice and the FBI. Ask how to clear your
The Beaumont Police Department
suggests you also do the following:
Report the crime to all police and
sheriff departments with jurisdiction in your case
immediately. Give them as much documented evidence as
possible. Obtain a copy of all police reports. Keep the
telephone number of your fraud detective/investigator handy
and give it to creditors and others who require verification
of your case. Credit card companies, banks, and insurance
companies may require you to show the report in order to
verify the crime. Some police and sheriff departments have
been known to refuse to write reports on such crimes. Be
Immediately contact (by telephone and
in writing) all creditors with whom your name has been used
fraudulently. Obtain replacement cards with new account
numbers for your own accounts that have been used
fraudulently. Ask that old accounts be processed as "account
closed at consumer's request." (This is better than "card
lost or stolen," because when this statement is reported to
credit reporting bureaus, it can be interpreted as blaming
you for the loss.) Carefully monitor your mail and credit
card bills for evidence of new fraudulent activity. Report
it immediately to credit grantors.
If you have had checks stolen or bank
accounts set up fraudulently, notify your bank. Report the
fraud to check verification companies. Place stop payments
on any outstanding checks that you are unsure of. Cancel
your checking and saving accounts and obtain new account
numbers. Ask the bank to issue you a secret password that
must be used in every transaction (not your mother's maiden
name). Write a form letter that can be mailed or faxed
whenever you receive an inquiry about fraudulent checks
written from your bank account. The letter should give a
brief description of what happened, check numbers and check
manufacturer (obtained from your bank), bank account number,
case number (assigned by police or the law enforcement
agency with jurisdiction), the name of the police or sheriff
detective/investigator handling your case, and the name and
telephone number of the customer service representative at
You may be asked by banks and credit
grantors to fill out and notarize fraud affidavits, which
are costly. The law does not require that a notarized
affidavit be provided to creditors. A written statement and
supporting documentation should be enough (unless the
creditor offers to pay the notary). Overly burdensome
requirements by creditors should be reported to federal
The Secret Service
has jurisdiction over financial fraud cases but it usually
does not investigate individual cases unless the dollar
amount is high and/or you are one of many victims of a fraud
ring. To interest the Secret Service in your case, you may
want to ask the fraud department of the credit card
companies and/or banks, as well as the police or sheriff
detective/investigator to notify the particular Secret
Service agent they work with regarding your case.
Call the Social Security
Administration (SSA) to report fraudulent use of your Social
Security number. Also, order a copy of your Social Security
Earnings and Benefits Statement and check it for accuracy.
As a last resort, you might want to change your number. The
SSA will only change it if you fit their fraud victim
criteria. Caution: This step should be reserved for only the
most extreme situations. You must be sure to notify all
credit grantors and credit reporting bureaus of your new
Social Security number.
Notify the local
Postal Inspector if you suspect an identity thief has filed
a change of address with the post office or has used the
mail to commit credit or bank fraud against you. Notify the
local Postal Inspector if you suspect mail theft. Theft of
mail is a felony. (Call the local Postmaster to obtain the
telephone number). Find out where fraudulent credit cards
were sent. Notify the local Postmaster for that address to
forward all mail in your name to your own address. You may
also need to talk with your mail carrier.
If you have a passport, notify the
passport office to be on the lookout for anyone ordering a
new passport fraudulently. |
gas and water utilities. Alert them to the possibility that
someone may attempt to open new service using your
You may want to
change your driver license number if someone is using your
license as identification to pass bad checks. Call the
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to see if another license
has been issued in your name. Place a fraud alert in your
DMV records. Go to your local DMV office to request a new
driver license number. Also, fill out a DMV complaint form
to begin the fraud investigation process. Send supporting
documents with the completed form to the nearest DMV
investigation office. Be persistent!
You may want to consult an attorney to
determine legal action to take against creditors and/or
credit bureaus if they are not cooperative in removing
fraudulent entries from your credit report or if negligence
is a factor. Call the local Bar Association to find an
attorney who specializes in consumer law and the Fair Credit
Pay attention to
your own mental health. Victims of identity theft often
report they are somehow to blame. They often feel violated,
even powerless, due to the fact that few, if any, of the
authorities they have notified of the crime step forward to
help them. Psychological counseling may help you deal with
the stress and anxiety commonly experienced by victims.
Discuss your situation with a trusted friend, spiritual
advisor or counselor.
Do not give in and
do not pay any bill or portion of a bill, which is the
result of Identity Theft. Do not cover any checks, which
were written and/or cashed fraudulently. Your credit rating
should not be permanently affected, and no legal action
should be taken against you. If any merchant, financial
institution or collection agency suggests otherwise, simply
restate your willingness to cooperate, but do not allow
yourself to be coerced into paying fraudulent bills. Write
to your state and federal legislators. Demand stronger
privacy protection and fraud assistance by creditors and
credit reporting bureaus.
with the detective investigating your case, he or she may be
able to assist you in obtaining a fingerprint comparison if
the suspect has ever been arrested or has used your name
during an arrest. You may be able to obtain information
regarding any warrants connected to the arrest, this may
also help in reestablishing your credit or obtaining a new
social security number.
CREDIT REPORTING BUREAUS
Contact credit reporting bureaus for
names and telephone numbers of credit grantors with whom
fraudulent accounts have been opened. Ask the credit
reporting bureaus to remove inquiries that have been
generated due to the fraudulent access. You may also ask the
credit reporting bureaus to notify those who have received
your credit report in the last six months in order to alert
them to the disputed and erroneous information (two years
for employers). Immediately call the fraud units of the
three credit reporting bureaus, i.e., Equifax, Experian
(formerly TRW) and Trans Union. Report the theft of your
credit cards or numbers. Ask that your accounts be flagged.
Also, add a victim's statement to your report, up to 100
words. ("My Identification has been used to apply for credit
fraudulently. Contact me at (telephone number) to verify all
applications.") Be sure to ask how long the fraud alert is
posted on your account, and how you can extend it if
necessary. Be aware that these measures may not entirely
stop new fraudulent accounts from being opened by an
imposter. Ask the credit bureaus in writing to provide you
with free copies every few months so you can monitor your
To report fraud
call: 800-525-6285 or 800-685-1111
To order a copy of
credit report write:
P.O. Box 740241
30374-0241 To dispute information in credit report write:
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256 To opt out of pre-approved offers of
P.O. Box 740123
Call: 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688)
report fraud call: 888-397-3742 or Fax: 800-301-7196 To
contact Experian Consumer Fraud Assistance write:
P. O. Box 1017
75013 To order a copy of credit report write:
P.O. Box 2104
or call: 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) To dispute information
in credit report contact:
Experian at the address and telephone
number provided on your credit report. To opt out of
pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists call:
To report fraud,
To report fraud, write:
P.O. Box 6790
92634 To order a copy of credit report write:
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064
Call: 800-916-8800 To dispute
information in credit report call: 800-888-4213 or call the
telephone number provided on your credit report or use
"investigation request form" provided by Trans Union when
you order your report. To opt out of pre-approved offers of
credit and marketing lists call: 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688)
Remember, if you have been denied
credit you are entitled to a free credit report. If you are
the victim of fraud, be sure to ask the credit reporting
bureau for a free copy of your credit report. In 1997, a law
became effective requiring credit reporting bureaus to
provide credit reports free of charge to victims of identity
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
If your Social Security number has
been used fraudulently, report the problem to the Social
Security Administration (SSA) at 800-269-0271. You may also
order your Earnings and Benefits Statement by calling the
SSA at 800-772-1213. For extreme cases of Identity Theft,
they may be willing to change your Social Security number.
To remove your name from mailing lists
(Direct Marketing Association) write to:
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735 To remove your
name from telephone lists (Direct Marketing Association)
Telephone Preference Service
P.O. Box 9014
REPORTING THEFT OR FRAUDULENT USE OF
To report theft or fraudulent use of
your checks call:
International Check Services (ICS):
ChexSystems (Regarding closed checking
accounts only): 800-328-5121 or 800-428-9623
Theft occurs, you need to act quickly, know what to do, who
to contact and fully understand your rights under the law.
Identity Theft exerts great emotional distress on its
victims. Damage containment in each fraud case depends on
how deeply the imposter has invaded your personal,
professional and financial life. There are many preparatory
actions one can take to prevent Identity Theft.
The information on
this Web site is meant to educate consumers. You can never
be too careful, prepared, or aware. Share this information
with family and friends. Schedule family discussions, ensure
everyone is aware and prepared in the event an identity
Federal Trade Commission
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I keep
recieving "hot check" notices from merchants. What am I
supposed to do?
A: Contact the merchant and advise
them that someone is forging your checks and supply them
with the police report number and have the merchant send the
original check to the Financial Crimes Unit.
Q: Why is the original document
required to file charges?
A: We have to be able to tie the
suspect to the forged check. This is often done by
processing the prints on the forged check and comparing them
to the suspect. No charges can be filed if the suspect can
not be linked to the check.
Q: My checks or credit cards were
stolen in the mail. Can I report them stolen?
A: Yes, however,
you must report this to the U. S Postal Inspector. They have
jurisdiction for investigating thefts involving the U. S.
What if my checks or credit cards are stolen from my purse?
A: If your checks are stolen from
anywhere other than the mail, call 409-880-3862 to make the
report over the phone between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday
through Friday, excluding holidays. You can also file a
report online at any time by clicking here.
Q: What do I do if
someone uses my identity to open a charge account or
checking account in my name?
A: You may reduce your risk of being
victimized if you do the things listed below.
Charge or Credit
Immediately contact the issuer of the
credit, the credit card company, such as American Express or
Visa, a department store, or a bank. We also recommend
contacting someone who works in the "LOSS PREVENTION"
department for the company, instead of someone in their
customer service department.
When your American Express, Visa, or
any other card is used to purchase merchandise, you should
also contact the store where the card was used. Again,
contact someone who works in "LOSS PREVENTION" for the store
and not someone in customer service.
Contact all three
(3) of the credit reporting companies and report the
incident to each of them. (Please refer to phone numbers
Q: How do I contact the credit bureaus
or the check verification companies?
A: Credit Bureaus:
Trans Union Fraud
Victim Assistance 800-680-7289
TRW/Experian Consumer Fraud Assistance
Equifax Consumer Fraud Unit
B: Check Verification Companies:
National Processing Co. 800-526-5380
*** Make ALL your notifications by
telephone, and in writing.
Q: How can I
reduce my risk of becoming a victim of fraud?
You can reduce the
risk of becoming a victim of fraud by following the advice
Don't use your birth date or mother's
maiden name as a password for your accounts.
Avoid writing your
account numbers on your checks when paying your credit card
bills. If a criminal steals your monthly bank statement,
these canceled checks will give the criminal all the
information he or she needs to commit fraud.
Social Security number. Be careful to whom you give it. Do
NOT put it or your drivers license number on your checks.
credit card receipts and bank statements before throwing
away in the trash.
Request credit reports from each of
the credit bureaus, checking for discrepancies, on a regular
My drivers license was stolen and someone is using my
number. What do I do?
A: If your drivers license number is
compromised you must contact the Texas Department of Public
Safety. Their phone number varies depending on where you
live. You can find their phone number in the BLUE pages of
the telephone book under "State Government". You should call
the office nearest your residence.