- Posts: 2
- Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:10 pm
As a Law Enforcement Officer I have investigated many card frauds. I am like you really wanting to catch these crooks. However to build a proper criminal case it is extremely time consuming.
First you have the jurisdiction issue: where did the crime occurred? At the online retailer location? At the crook location? at the victim's location? That could be open for interpretation and depending on your State Attorney, the answer may be different. If I don't have jurisdiction I can't do anything except referring to another agency.
Second the banks are not cooperating. It takes months (yes months) with some banks to get answers from subpoenas to get copy of the transactions. Same thing with the stores to get copy of their register and videos. Also a subpoena is labor intensive for us and the banks charge us money for it.
Last, who is the victim? As soon as the bank reimbursed your loss, they become the victim. And it's very difficult for small amounts to get the bank to make a formal complaint to us. I got a case where I got a positive identification on my suspect on a surveillance video, but the bank didn't want to prosecute because the loss was only $1,200 and they didn't want to spend the time.
Even if you build a case that goes to court, the justice system is so busy, that for a small crime with only a few hundred dollars of loss, it is highly probable that there will be either no prosecution or a plea deal for an even lower charge...
After a while, you don't spend hours anymore investigating these crimes because it is a waste of resources when there are so many other cases piling up on your desk with more chances of prosecution.
However, sometimes we got lucky and we can find a trend or a repeat offender or a skimming ring. In these cases, as they are usually spreading over multiple jurisdiction, if the amount of money involved are over hundred of thousands of dollars, the case may get picked up by the FBI.
Then you see, as long as the banks won't play the game to stop the fraud because the cost of it is not considered high enough for them, we will go nowhere.