I just had a conversation with Sgt Rick Leonard this morning on this very issue. He was telling me his concerns about the reports of unemployment insurance identity fraud cases that are rampant right now. They will shortly be followed by the tax return fraud cases. He is concerned because we have no way to investigate these cases. The victims need the reports from their local police but that means we will have to carry crime statistics for reports we have no ability to affect. Some communities just refuse to take the reports because it impacts their “reported crime” statistics by which the media measures effectiveness of police. I know the victims need these reports so I want us to take them. Even when it makes our community appear to have more crime.
In the case of the unemployment insurance we are hearing unofficially that there is one person at the state investigating these cases. It is likely that the information about individuals used to file these fraudulent reports was released in one of the many, many database hacks that have happened over the past few years.
The crime reporting system nationally is unable to adequately address the questions raised by this kind of crime. We don’t know how much of it there is (lots) or any other facts and patterns which could help lawmakers and investigators design effective disruption strategies and tactics. We do know that much of it is international, yet a further complication.
This article give the point of view of local police chiefs on this important topic.