SLCgov.com

Chief’s Message, March 2014: Financial Crimes, Scams

SALT LAKE CITY — In his latest video designed to help the public reduce its exposure to crime, Chief Chris Burbank talks financial crimes with Det. Brigette Bennett, who has investigated forgery, fraud, identity theft, counterfeiting and embezzlement cases for the last six years of her 14-year career with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

The Financial Crimes Unit is comprised of one sergeant and six detectives, including Bennett. Last year the unit investigated 1,622 cases and made 157 arrests, a testament to how difficult it is to find justice for victims of financial crimes.

“It’s profitable and the cases can be very hard to solve,” said Bennett, who works to educate people about the signs of a scam.

From work-at-home jobs that are too good to be true to someone offering more than the listed price of an item posted on an online marketplace, Bennett says the biggest clue that an offer might be a scam is the way the criminal operates:

“They’ll frequently offer you more than what you requested for an item that you have for sale, or they might ask you to send money through wire or by obtaining a Green Dot money card. Those are available at a lot of merchants, and then you would load the money on to there,” she explained. “By giving them the reference number, they’re able to get the money from that card without physically having the card in their presence.”

Counterfeiting still happens and Salt Lake City sees its fair share of funny money. With a counterfeit $20 bill from one of her cases, Bennett walks the Chief through the signs of a bogus bill, including:

  • ink in the lower right-hand corner that should shift when the bill is tilted
  • a watermark that should match the face on the bill
  • a security strip that should indicate the bill’s denomination

To learn more about financial crimes, including places favored by criminals hoping people leave wallets and purses unattended, watch the video above.

About the “Chief’s Message”
Chief Burbank issues a monthly video message to help the public reduce its exposure to, or mitigate the effects of, crime, as well as spotlight different parts of the city’s public safety team. All “Chief’s Messages” are archived on the newsroom page of www.slcpd.com and the “Chief’s Message” playlist of http://www.youtube.com/slcpd. To recommend a topic to Chief Burbank, please send an email to: askthechief@slcgov.com.

Contact: Reporters seeking comment should contact the Public Information Officer at 801.799.NEWS (6397).

###

0