Geoff Smith
Director of Public Safety
Phone: (269) 659-7273

Ryan Banaszak
Deputy Chief
Phone: (269) 659-7236
Fax: (269) 659-7293

David Males
Phone: (269) 659-7252
Fax: (269) 659-7293

Rick Sweitzer
Code Enforcement
Phone: (269) 659-7264

General Information
Phone: (269) 651-3231
Sturgis Police Department
122 N. Nottawa
Sturgis, Michigan 49091

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Fraud & Scam Info

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Fraud & Scam Descriptors

Advance Fee Fraud
A type of confidence trick, designed to extract from its victims an upfront payment for commission, fees, interest payments, or funds for investment in return for offers of, for example, loan finance or investment opportunities, that in reality do not exist.

Altered Card
A genuine payment card's magnetic stripe is removed and replaced with fraudulently obtained card information.

Application Fraud
Applications containing material falsehoods or false supporting documentation, when the name used has not been identified as false.

Bait And Switch
A dishonest sales practice in which a business advertises a bargain price for an item in order to draw customers into the store then tells the prospective buyer that the item is of poor quality or no longer available and attempts to switch the customer to a more expensive product.

Change of Address Fraud
Bogus 'changes of address' are increasingly used by criminals to commit fraud and are often used to facilitate an account/facility takeover. The fraudster obtains details of a genuine customer's account and then contacts the business to advice that he has changed address. This is usually accompanied or followed by a request for items of value such as a checkbook, debit card or statement of account that are sent to the bogus 'new' address. A false change of address is used to facilitate previous address fraud and account/facility takeover fraud.

The fraudulent reproduction of original documents/instruments in a manner that enables the fraudster to pass them off as genuine/original items.

Counterfeit Cards
An instrument that has been printed, embossed or encoded so as to purport to be a legitimate payment card but which is not genuine because the issuer did not authorize the printing, embossing or encoding, or a payment card that has been validly issued and which has been altered or prefabricated.

Counterfeit Checks/Drafts
Checks/drafts that are manufactured, printed or copied onto blank check stock paper and usually drawn on accounts and presented for payment via the clearing system/special presentation/over the counter etc.

Day of the Jackal
Fraud A dead child is impersonated years later when they would have become an adult to create a false identity which can be used to facilitate identity fraud.

False Identity Fraud
The creation of a fictitious or false identity in order to facilitate fraudulent activity.

Fraud Ring
A group of organized criminals/fraudsters working together to defraud financial organizations, retailers, companies and individuals.

The gaining of unauthorized access to networked computers.

Identity Fraud
The creation or adoption of a fictitious or false identity to facilitate illegal or fraudulent activity. This usually involves the use of stolen or forged identity documents such as a passport or driving license to obtain goods or services by deception. Includes cases of false identity, identity theft, impersonation of the deceased, facility takeover and other impersonations. Identity Theft The misappropriation of the identity of another person, without their knowledge or consent. Those with a good credit history are often targeted usually in order to facilitate identity fraud.

Insurance Claims Fraud
The making of a claim(s) under one or more insurance policy (ies) with one or more material falsehoods or by presenting a false or forged document.

Long Firm Fraud
Criminals set up a business dealing in items with a rapid turnover. Business is swiftly built up and lines of credit established with suppliers. Eventually credit is gained on all goods possible so that they can be disposed of quickly for cash. The fraudsters then disappear without paying for the goods before creditors are alerted.

Lottery Fraud
Letters or emails are sent at random advising recipients they have won a prize in a lottery, usually in another country. The recipient has to reply to obtain the funds. This is usually followed by a request for bank details to allow the funds to be transferred. Any personal details supplied to the criminals are used to facilitate identity fraud.

Mail re-direct
Post can be fraudulently re-directed to another address. The fraudster then receives any important documents intended for the victim to possibly facilitate Identity fraud.

Mail/Telephone Order Fraud
A fraudster uses a genuine account number to obtain goods or services from mail order merchants.

Malicious software developed for the purpose of causing harm to a computer system. Types include viruses, worms, Trojan horses, backdoors, spy ware, exploits, root kits, key loggers and dialers.

Money Laundering
The process by which criminals attempt to conceal the true origin of the financial proceeds of crime. A criminal's funds need to look as if they originate from a legitimate source, and they need to operate without being caught or arousing suspicion. As a result they are required to launder, or 'clean' the proceeds of their criminality and place 'dirty' money into the financial system.

Mortgage Fraud
Any attempt by an applicant to obtain a mortgage by deliberately providing false details in respect of income, occupancy, or any false detail provided by Introducers.

Nigerian Fraud
Letter It is a type of advance fee fraud where individuals and companies receive unsolicited letters or emails from West Africa promising them a generous percentage of an improbably huge sum of money in return for assistance in getting funds out of a West African country by allowing them to pass through their bank account. Becoming involved often leads to the receipt of fake documents designed to give credibility to the transaction before receiving a demand for what is described as a 'tax payment', 'administration fee' or 'travel expenses' for visiting West African officials as a precondition for releasing the funds.

A divert is set-up from a company's real website, without their knowledge, to a bogus website. When customers attempt to access the real website the fraudsters gather customers' account details and passwords which can then be used to facilitate frauds.

The use of 'spoof' emails and websites that are designed to deceive recipients into divulging personal financial data to facilitate identity fraud e.g. credit card numbers, account numbers, user names, passwords, etc.

Second Party Fraud
Fraud committed by someone close to or known by a genuine customer, usually a relative or employee.

Shoulder Surfing
Fraudsters will look over the shoulder of unsuspecting individuals, and capture personal details to facilitate identity fraud. They are known to target individuals filling out application forms in shops or discussing personal details over the phone in a public place as well as discarded debit or credit card receipts.

A reader and recorder of the magnetic stripe on payment cards.

Copying the magnetic stripe details of a payment card with a card reader, for use in counterfeiting.

An attempt to harvest personal information directly from potential victims to facilitate identity fraud. The fraudster will make contact in various ways, including letters, telephone calls, canvassing, websites, emails, etc.

Stolen Card Fraud
The fraudulent use of payment cards reported as 'stolen'.

Third Party Fraud
Fraud committed against an account holder by an unrelated third party. The overwhelming majority of fraud committed against financial institutions and its customers are by, often unknown, third parties.