Increased Regional Fraud Activities
From: Gerardo Becerra
Crime Watch Coordinator – IMPD North District
There has been a recent increase in fraud activity in the Indianapolis metropolitan area and surrounding counties involving the Felony Lane Gang.
These incidents usually result from car break-ins, and purses and other identification documents left inside the vehicles being stolen. The suspects will figure out where the victim’s banks and addresses are, and will disguise themselves to look like the pictures in the victim’s ID (including wigs on multiple incidents). They usually negotiate checks or withdrawals from the victim’s accounts from the drive up window using the victim’s ID. The suspects will usually be driving a rental car and will have a lookout with them in the bank parking lot to alert if police arrives. Victims should immediately notify IMPD and their bank(s), specifically telling them their ID was stolen along with their checks and credit cards, and request a “fraud alert” be placed on their account.
Report Loss or Theft Immediately
Acting fast limits your liability for charges you didn’t authorize. Report the loss or theft of your card to the card issuer as quickly as possible. Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service for such emergencies. Once you report the loss of your ATM or debit card, federal law says you cannot be held liable for unauthorized transfers that occur after that time.
How to Limit Your Losses?
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) offer protection if your credit, ATM or debit cards are lost or stolen.
Credit Card Loss or Fraudulent Charges
Under the FCBA, your liability for unauthorized use of your credit card tops out at $50. However, if you report the loss before your credit card is used, the FCBA says you are not responsible for any charges you didn’t authorize. If your credit card number is stolen, but not the card, you are not liable for unauthorized use.
ATM or Debit Card Loss or Fraudulent Transfers.
If you report an ATM or debit card missing before someone uses it, the EFTA says you are not responsible for any unauthorized transactions. If someone uses your ATM or debit card before you report it lost or stolen, your liability depends on how quickly you report it:
How to Protect Your Cards and Account Information?
For Credit and ATM or Debit Cards:
- Don’t disclose your account number over the phone unless you initiate the call.
- Guard your account information. Never leave it out in the open or write it on an envelope.
- Keep a record of your account numbers, expiration dates, and the telephone numbers of each card issuer so you can report a loss quickly.
- Draw a line through blank spaces on charge or debit slips above the total so the amount can’t be changed.
- Don’t sign a blank charge or debit slip.
- Tear up copies and save your receipts to check against your monthly statements.
- Cut up old cards — cutting through the account number — before you throw them away.
- Open your monthly statements promptly and compare them to your receipts. Report mistakes or discrepancies as soon as possible.
- Carry only the cards you’ll need.
For ATM or Debit Cards:
- Don’t carry your PIN in your wallet, purse, or pocket — or write it on your ATM or debit card. Commit it to memory.
- Never write your PIN on the outside of a deposit slip, an envelope, or other papers that could be lost or looked at.
- Carefully check your ATM or debit card transactions; the funds for this item will be quickly transferred out of your checking or other deposit account.
- Periodically check your account activity, especially if you bank online. Compare the current balance and transactions on your statement to those you’ve recorded. Report any discrepancies to your card issuer immediately.
Crime Watch Coordinator – North District
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Department of Public Safety
605 E Westfield Boulevard, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Crime Watch Website: