Maine 

Victim Witness Advocates

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a listing of specialty service providers for Maine's racial, ethnic and language minority communities

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Identity Theft and Financial Fraud

 The rate of fraudulent financial schemes and manipulation of identify information has grown astronomically in the last 10 years.  Although many of these schemes target vulnerable populations such as the elderly, anyone can fall prey to these crimes. The results can be devastating, ravaging the financial and emotional lives of its victims. 

Commonly defined, fraud is an act in which attempts are made to deceive with promises of goods, services, or financial benefits that do not exist, were never intended to be provided, or were misrepresented.  More and more often these crimes originate in foreign countries making it exceedingly difficult to investigate and hold accountable the perpetrators.  When a case is successfully investigated and prosecuted, which can take years, there are often thousands of victims. If you believe you are the victim of one of these crimes, immediately take steps to protect your identity and credit. Report the crime immediately. The resources listed at the end of this page will help you, or call your local victim witness advocate for information and standard forms you can use.  

   Common types of fraud crimes include:

Internet Fraud

Identity Theft

Mail Fraud

Embezzlement

Telemarketing Fraud

Pension and Trust Fund Fraud

Credit Card Fraud

Advance Fee Schemes

Computer Fraud

Charity Fraud

Reverse Mortgage Fraud

Securities and Investment Fraud

Check Fraud

Insurance Fraud

Health Care Fraud

Home Repair Schemes

Land Schemes

                                       
Victims of fraud may face far reaching financial difficulties such as loss of credit or damaged credit ratings, the need to repair large debt-not only own but debts incurred, directly or indirectly, by the perpetrators of the fraudulent acts.

Much of the repair to credit must be performed by the victim himself, including contacting creditors directly and contacting the three most frequently used national credit reporting agencies. Contacting the national credit bureaus will provide a record of what attempts have been made to obtain credit by others and will place a ‘block’ on a victim’s credit files so that when new applications are received, they are rejected until the victim can be contacted.  For a small fee one can also request a ‘freeze’. This prohibits the credit bureau from responding to most requests for your credit information.

     The three most common credit bureaus are:

Equifax
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374

Fraud Assistance Unit:
(800) 525-6285
Experian
P.O. Box 949
Allen, TX 75013

Consumer Fraud Assistance Unit:
(800) 682-7654
Trans Union Corporation
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834

Fraud Assistance Unit:
(800) 680-7289

Learn more about financial fraud crime and many more resources at http://www.maine.gov/ag/         

Other resources for victims of financial fraud:

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, provides information on identity fraud   
1-619-298-3396   
http://www.privacyrights.org

National Fraud Information Center   1-800-876-7060

For reporting telemarketing and computer related fraud   http://www.fraud.org

National Foundation for Consumer Credit   (Consumer Credit Counseling Center)  
Assists w/credit problems.  Provides free money management & debt counseling. Assistance w/creditors.   1-800-388-CCCS   
http://www.nfcc.org

Eldercare Locator, national hotline to help identify community resources to assist elderly   1-800-677-1116

Federal Trade Commission, to report consumer complaints on a variety of business frauds    1-202-FTC-HELP     http://www.ftc.gov

Federal Trade Commission ID Theft, information and publications
1-877-IDTHEFT   
http://www.ftc.gov

National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., Investigates complaints on securities brokers   1-800-289-9999   www.nasdr.com

Office of Investor Education and Assistance   1-202-942-7040

Securities and Exchange Commission, resource on investor questions.  Investigates complaints against brokers or an unfair sales practice.   http://www.sec.gov

Commodities Reparation Fund   1-202-418-5250

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
For complaints involving licensed commodities futures trading professionals.
http://www.cftc.gov/cftc

National Futures Association
Investigates complaints on futures & options trading investments, provides disciplinary info on brokers.   1-800-676-4NFA   http://www.nfa.futures.org/


U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services  
To report medicare fraud    1-800-HHS-TIPS   (1-800-447-8477)

National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA)  
Information to aid in the investigation of health care fraud
1-202-659-5955   
http://www.nhcaa.org

To report Medicare Fraud
http://www.medicare.gov/FraudAbuse/HowToReport.asp

National Charities Information Bureau   1-800-501-NCIB

To stop telemarketers from calling
Do Not Call. Federal Trade Commission
1(888)-382-1222     http://www.donotcall.gov

Last Modified: June 13, 2007