How do I report annoying or harassing phone calls?
Call the Business Desk at (949) 724-7000 during normal business hours. Typically these kinds of reports can be taken over the phone. The Police Department does not have the capability of tracing or trapping phone lines. Those services must be done by the phone company at your request. They will request a police report number.
How can I obtain a restraining order?
Temporary Restraining Orders can only be issued by Family Court located at 341 The City Drive, in Orange. Information on how to obtain a restraining order can be retrieved from their recorded information line at (714) 973-0134.
Emergency Protective Orders can be issued immediately by our department after incidents of domestic violence, and carry the same authority and weight as any other kind of Restraining Order. Please call 911 if you observe any incidents of domestic violence, or if you have been victimized.
How can I report child abuse?
If you suspect child abuse is in progress, call 911. To report less urgent situations, or to make anonymous reports, you may call The Child Abuse Registry for Orange County at (714) 940-1000. This number is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How can I report elder abuse?
If you suspect on-going physical or fiduciary abuse of an elder, please call (949) 724-7200. In-progress physical abuse should be reported on 911.
Physical abuse of an elder is defined as: Every person who, under circumstances and conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully and unlawfully inflicts on an elder adult of 65 years of age or older, with knowledge that said person was an elder adult of 65 years of age or older, unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, is guilty of a violation of section 368(a) of the Penal Code, a felony.
Fiduciary abuse is the exploitation of someone’s funds or other resources. It can range from the misuse of funds to the transfer or sale of personal or real property. These crimes can often appear to be civil matters as the suspects often have been granted power of attorney, listed on quit claim deeds, wills, living trusts and bank accounts.
Under California Penal Code section 368, these offenses are considered prosecutable crimes. Victim’s rights were strengthened under another California law, the Elder Abuse Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, which was passed in 1992. The provisions of this law allow the victims to sue perpetrators and collect damages under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15600.
What is “identity theft”?
Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone's identifying information, such as name, address, date of birth, social security number and mother's maiden name, in order to impersonate them. This information enables the identity thief to commit numerous forms of fraud which include, but are not limited to, taking over the victim's financial accounts, opening new bank accounts, purchasing automobiles, applying for loans, credit cards and social security benefits, renting apartments and establishing services with utility and phone companies.
Identity Theft is covered under California Penal Code section 530.5: Unauthorized Use of Personal Identifying Information
(a) Every person who willfully obtains personal identifying information, as defined in sub-division (b), of another person without the authorization of that person, and uses that information for any unlawful purpose, including to obtain, or attempt to obtain, credit, goods, services, or medical information in the name of the other person without the consent of that person is guilty of a public offense.
What should I do if I have become a victim of "identity theft"?
You should gather whatever documentation you have and come to our Business Desk, during business hours to file a police report, however you should not wait to begin making the following notifications:
- Credit card issuers. Get replacement cards with new account numbers. Ask that the old accounts be processed as “account closed at consumer’s request”. This is better than “card lost or stolen”, because when this statement is reported to credit bureaus, it can be interpreted as blaming you for the loss.
- Fraud Units of the three credit reporting companies: TRW, Equifax, and Trans Union. Report the theft of your credit cards and/or numbers. Ask that your accounts be flagged. Also, add a victim’s statement to your report such as “My ID has been used to apply for credit fraudulently. Contact me at XXX-XXX-XXXX (your phone number) to verify all applications.
- Your Bank: Cancel your checking and savings accounts and obtain new account numbers. Ask the bank to issue you a secret password that must be used in every transaction. Put stop payments on any outstanding checks that you are unsure of. If you use an ATM card for banking services, get a new card, account number, and password. Do not use your old password. When creating a password, avoid such commonly used numbers as the last four digits of your Social Security number and your birth date.
- Telecheck & National Processing Company: If you have had checks lost or stolen, report it to these companies. These are check guarantee companies and they can flag your file so that bogus checks will be turned down. Telecheck can be reached at 800-366-2425. National Processing Company can be reached at 800-526-5380.
- Social Security Administration: Notify the Social Security Administration’s office of the Inspector General if your SSN has been used fraudulently http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/idtheft.htm. You may want to have your SSN changed if your number has become associated with bad checks and credit. CAUTION: This step should be reserved for only the most extreme situations. You must be sure to notify all credit grantors and credit reporting bureaus of your new SSN.
- Passport: If you have a passport notify the passport office http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/lost/lost_848.html to be on the lookout for anyone ordering a new passport fraudulently.
- Utilities: Call your telephone (including long distance carrier), electrical, gas and water utilities. Alert them to the possibility that someone may attempt to open new service using your identification.
- Secret Service. The Secret Service has jurisdiction over financial fraud cases. This federal government agency usually does not investigate individual cases unless the dollar amount is very high. To interest the Secret Service in your case, ask someone in the fraud department of your credit card companies and/or banks to notify the particular SS agent they work with.
- Federal Trade Commission: The FTC collects complaints about identity theft from consumers who have been victimized. Although the FTC does not have the authority to bring criminal cases, the Commission can help victims of identity theft by providing information to assist them in resolving the financial and other problems that can result from this crime. The FTC also refers victim complaints to other appropriate government agencies and private organizations for further action. For more online information click: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
- If you've been a victim of identity theft, file a complaint with the FTC by contacting the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline by telephone: toll-free 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TDD: 202-326-2502; by mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.
- Keep a log. In dealing with the authorities and financial institutions, keep a log of all conversations, including dates and names. Send correspondence by certified mail. Keep copies of all letters and documents. Provide your police report number to expedite reporting the crime.
- Consumer Assistance: The nearest office of Consumer Credit Counseling Service might be able to help you remove fraudulent claims from your credit report. Call 800-388-2227.
- Legal Counsel: Consider seeking legal counsel, especially if you have difficulty clearing up your credit history, or your case is complex and involves a lot of money. An attorney can help you recover from the fraud and determine whether your rights under various credit, banking, SSN and other laws have been violated.
Credit Reporting Bureaus
Copy of Report: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Dispute Report: P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 20274-0256
Order Credit Report: 800-685-1111
Opt out of Marketing Lists: 800-219-1251
Report Fraud: 800-525-6285
Copy of Report: P.O. Box 7000, North Olmstead, OH 44070
Dispute Report: P.O. Box 403, Springfield, PA 19064
Order Credit Report: 800-851-2674
Opt out of Marketing Lists: 800-241-2858
Report Fraud: 800-680-7289
Copy/Dispute Report: Experian Nat’l. Consumer Assistance Center
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104
Order Credit Report: 888-397-3742
Opt out of Marketing Lists: 800-353-0809
To remove your name from mailing lists (Direct Marketing Association):
Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735
Telephone Preference Service, P.O. Box 9015, Farmingdale, NY 11735.