Texoma Law Enforcement officials have made several recent arrests for financial crimes. The arrests include Forgery, Fraud and Fraudulent Use charges. There are specialized officers working to stop the trend, but there are things you can do to help.
Most of the financial crimes are directly related to the Meth trade. "I would say pretty much 90% of it is driven by drugs and probably most of that from Meth," said WFPD Sgt. Todd Myracle.
Myracle says most of the crimes start with a vehicle burglary. "They break into your car, steal your wallet or your purse and go use the cards at different businesses," he explained.
Initially, the individual is the victim of the crime. Its not long before businesses feel the pinch and take a big hit. "If they go into a local business and buy a laptop computer, by the time the charge is reversed then that business is out that laptop computer… Let's say you have 3 a week at $1500 a piece, that's a pretty big hit," he said.
Check frauds are also a big element of financial crimes. "What they are doing is they will use your bank account information, and they may print their own check with some other business name at the top and your account number," he said. The crooks then cash the check off the victims account.
There are things people and business owners can do to hamper the criminals. Its pretty basic. "Don't leave anything in your car that you would not be worried about getting stolen," said Myracle.
Businesses can help curb their attractiveness to criminals by installing a conspicuous video surveillance system, and keeping the footage for a while. Police use the footage to track the criminals. Often times, stores do not have the tapes by the time the cops get there.
If you feel you have been victim of a fraud or other financial crime, there are several links below you can use to report them. Early detection is often key for the cops to catch the crooks. Myracle suggest checking your bank account daily.
Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6