Year after year, millions of people become victims of fraud which leads to the loss of billions to the economy. If you are a victim of this situation, you would know that it can have rather telling effects on your finances.
There are ways you can prevent a theft. For example, if you’re a business taking a loan, you can avoid being scammed by reading business loans online reviews and verifying if the firm is actually legit.
If you are a victim of identity theft, filing a police report documenting the misuse of your personal information can help you recover from the effects of this crime. But have you ever wondered how exactly the police investigate identity theft? Do they investigate every identity theft case?
This article from luminablog.co.uk will show you the answers to these and other questions regarding police investigation of identity theft.
Do the Police Investigate All Cases of Identity Theft?
The majority of identity theft and fraud cases reported to Action Fraud are actually not assigned to a police force for investigation. Rather, they remain in the NFIB database known as ‘Know Fraud’ that contains a record of all data sent by Action Fraud to the bureau. The NFIB retains and stores the data with the intention of using it for future intelligence purposes.
Assignment of an identity theft case to a police force for further investigation only occurs for those that meet a certain threshold. The threshold changes from case to case and is based on police priorities, policies and the resources at hand. It is useful to keep this in mind when reporting identity theft to the police.
Providing as much information as possible regarding the crime when filing your report, including anything you might know about the dates that the crime occurred, the fraudulent accounts that were opened and the suspected identity thief can increase the chances of your case being investigated.
How Do the Police Investigate Identity Theft?
There is no standard investigation process for identity theft cases in the UK. The investigations vary from one case to another depending on the circumstances and the information available.
Normally, the information in your incident report will form the foundation of the investigation. The police may get into contact with parties such as credit card companies or banks where fraudulent accounts have been opened or illegal transactions carried out to get more information that can help identify the suspect(s).
Occasionally, the police force investigating the case may also work with other forces or a different agency to get more information that can aid the investigation process. They can, for example, communicate with a different police force to ascertain whether they have handled similar reported crimes, victims or potential suspects.
Once they identify a suspect, the police may use traditional investigative techniques such as surveillance, tracking devices, telephone record analysis and even forensic analysis to obtain evidence.
At the end of the investigation process, the police prepare an official case report with all of the evidence. They might then arrest the suspect.
It is important to note, however, that an investigation may not always result in prosecution. Prosecution only occurs if a case meets certain criteria set by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS decides the cases to charge using guidance from The Code for Crown Prosecutors. Prosecution commonly takes place for those cases whose investigation has produced undeniable evidence of an identity theft offence.
What Are the Benefits of Reporting Fraud to The Police?
There are several benefits to reporting fraud these include:
The possibility the State will investigate, seize assets and prosecute the offenders
When a fraudster is prosecuted and found guilty, the Court may order the confiscation of assets and award compensation
Alerting the police to the identity and activities of fraudsters may help to protect others from being defrauded
Reporting fraud shows others that you take the matter very seriously