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Fairfax County fighting back against financial crime

Sunday - 10/9/2011, 7:14am  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

FAIRFAX, Va. - Murders, robberies and burglaries tend to get a lot of attention, but the fastest growing crime in this region may be identity theft and other financial crimes.

Fairfax County, one of the most affluent communities in the country, has had more than 3,500 cases of financial crime each year since 2009 including about 2,500 cases of Identity theft. It can happen without you even knowing it, says Fairfax County Police Detective Clinton Beech.

"We're talking about people stealing your mail," says Beech. "We're talking about people utilizing your bank account number to pay their bills."

To combat this type of crime, Fairfax county police have set up what they say is a one of a kind financial crime on line reporting system to make it easier for you to report things like credit card theft, skimmed credit cards, phony checks and even embezzlement.

"With the financial situation in the United States as far as the economic status, and with the holiday season quickly approaching, yes, credit card theft and frauds are on the rise," says Beech.

Since the new system went on line last month there have already been 300 reports.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)