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Access Device Fraud

INVESTIGATIONS Financial Crimes Division

The Secret Service investigates crimes associated with financial institutions. Today, this jurisdiction includes bank fraud, access device fraud involving credit and debit cards, telecommunications and computer crimes, fraudulent identification, fraudulent government and commercial securities, and electronic funds transfer fraud.

Other areas of focus at Cardnet Corporation as providers of customized payments, payment processing services and obvious solutions, include the social security administration where social security fraud, social security crime, internet fraud, money laundering, become our direction where we would coordinate our efforts with the federal bureau of investigation, or possibly crime scene investigation teams where fraud or a crime is alleged for or against senior citizens and their social security checks.

Mission Statement

The Financial Crimes Division (FCD) plans, reviews, and coordinates criminal investigations involving Financial Systems Crimes, including bank fraud; access device fraud; telemarketing; telecommunications fraud (cellular and hard wire); computer fraud; automated payment systems and teller machines; direct deposit; investigations of forgery, uttering, alteration, false personation, or false claims involving U.S. Treasury Checks, U.S. Savings Bonds, U.S. Treasury Notes, bonds, and bills; electronic funds transfer (EFT) including Treasury disbursements and fraud within Treasury payment systems; fraud involving U.S.

Department of Agriculture Food Coupons and Authority to Participate (ATP) cards; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation investigations; Farm Credit Administration violations; fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents and fraudulent commercial, fictitious instruments, foreign securities. The Division also coordinates the activities of the U.S. Secret Service Organized Crimes Program, and oversees money-laundering investigations.

A recent American Banking Association (ABA) survey concluded that the two major problems in the area of bank fraud today are: (1) the fraudulent production of negotiable instruments through the use of what has become known as "desktop publishing," and (2) access device fraud. Recent Secret Service investigations indicate that there has been an increase in credit card fraud, fictitious document fraud, and fraud involving the counterfeiting of corporate checks and other negotiable instruments, as well as false identification documents created with the use of computer technology.

Title 18 United States Code, Section 514 was enacted into law in 1996 to prevent the increasing amount of fraud through the use of fictitious instruments. Congress passed this law through the joint efforts of the Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury. FCD is responsible for the investigations of Title 18, United States Code Section 514 (Fictitious Instruments).

Access Device Fraud

Financial industry sources estimate that losses associated with credit card fraud are in the billions of dollars annually. The Secret Service is the primary federal agency tasked with investigating access device fraud and its related activities under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029. Although it is commonly called the credit card statute, this law also applies to other crimes involving access device numbers including debit cards, automated teller machine (ATM) cards, computer passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs) used to activate ATMs, credit card or debit card account numbers, long-distance access codes, and the computer chips in cellular phones that assign billing. Industry sources estimate that losses associated with credit card fraud are in the billions of dollars annually.


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