FINANCIAL CRIMES UNIT
FORGERY: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What is Forgery?
A. Whoever with intent to defraud falsely makes or alters a writing or object of any of the following kinds so that it purports to have been made by another, or at another time, or with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority. Wisconsin State Statue 943.38
Q. Can I report being the victim of a Forgery as an individual?
A. If your checks are being used fraudulently you can’t “file charges” until the bank determines who will suffer the financial loss. If the bank determines they will reimburse your account, it is up to the bank to file a police report. If you receive a letter from your bank (stating that your account will not be reimbursed), contact your district station. (Note: Filing a report with the MPD will not cause the bank to reimburse your account.)
Q. Someone is using my credit card(s) fraudulently can I file charges?
A. If your credit card(s) is being used fraudulently you can’t “file charges” until the credit card company determines if your account will be credited. If the credit card company determines they will reimburse your account, it is up to the credit card company to file a police report. If you receive a letter from the credit card company (stating that your account will not be reimbursed), contact your district station. (Note: Filing a report with the MPD will not cause the credit card company to reimburse your account.)
Q. I received cancelled checks from my bank. I did not write these checks, nor did I authorize these checks to be written. What should I do?
A. File a police report for the Theft of the check(s), if you haven’t already done so, taking the checks to your police department. Obtain a copy of the police report and submit it to your bank. The bank should return the check to the business that accepted it.
Q. I received notices from businesses demanding payment of returned checks I did not write. What should I do?
A. Advise the business that this is a unauthorized/fraudulent transaction. Encourage the business to file an incident report with the law enforcement agency where the incident occurred. Provide the business with an Affidavit of Forgery.
Q. What is an Affidavit of Forgery?
A. The affidavit is a sworn statement, attesting that the signature appearing on the document in question is indeed a forgery.
Q. The driver’s license number of the person who forged my check was written on the check. Why is that information insufficient to establish the individual’s identity?
A. Individuals involved in fraudulent activities will often assume stolen or counterfeit identities when negotiating forged checks. The counterfeit identification will often contain either fictitious information or another person’s information.
Q. My checks or credit cards were stolen from the mail. (I ordered checks, but they never came, or my new credit card never arrived.) Can I file a police report?
A. The United States Postal Inspection Service has jurisdiction for investigating Mail Theft. You can file an online complaint with the United States Postal Inspection Service at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx
Q. What about a will, contract, or negotiable instruments?
A. These cases generally start in civil/small claims court as a dispute. At some point the court might refer the case for criminal investigation. If you live in Wisconsin you can refer to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Online at http://www.wicourts.gov/forms1/circuit.htm#civil
Q. I have closed my bank checking account and filed a Theft of Checks report with the Milwaukee Police Department. My bank has now informed me that my check(s) are being used. What should I do?
A. As long as you have closed your account, you do not have to file an additional police report regarding the use of the checks. The business that cashed your check may request that you provide them with an Affidavit of Forgery.
Q. I went to the Milwaukee Police Department - District Station to report a Forgery and was instructed to complete and return the Forgery Packet to the station. Where do I get the Forgery Packet?
A. Click here to download and print the Forgery Packet to complete by hand (PDF).
Click here to complete the Forgery Packet on your computer and then print.
(Due to signature requirements, the forms cannot be accepted electronically.)
If you have further questions please contact your district station.