Identity Theft

Purpose and ScopeTax Season

Identity theft is a growing trend that frequently involves related crimes in multiple jurisdictions. This policy is intended to provide guidelines for the reporting and investigation of such crimes.


Upon request from a victim, officers shall complete a report for identity theft crimes occurring in the City of Columbia and for victims who either reside or are present in the City of Columbia regardless of where the crime occurred (§ 570.222, RSMo).

If the identity theft crime did not occur in the City of Columbia or the victim is not a resident, the officer may complete a courtesy report to be forwarded to the agency where the crime was committed or, if the location is unknown, to the victim’s residence agency.

While the crime of identity theft should be reported to the law enforcement agency where the victim resides, officers of this department should investigate and report crimes occurring within this jurisdiction that have resulted from the original identity theft (e.g., the identity theft occurred elsewhere but the fraud, usage of services or receipt of goods were acquired or occurred in this jurisdiction).

Officers should include all known incidents of fraudulent activity (e.g., credit card number applied for in victim’s name when the victim has never made such an application).

Phishing ScamsPreventive Measures

The victim should be advised how to place a security freeze on his/her consumer report with the three major credit bureaus.

The victim may file an identity theft complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Unit.


The victim should be encouraged to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is responsible for receiving and processing complaints under the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act.

The victim can contact the FTC online or by telephone at 877-ID Theft (877-438-4338).

Additional information may be found at the U.S. Department of Justice website, or a regional FBI division website.

Additional consumer information about identity theft.

Tax-Related Identity Theft

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number (SSN) to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.  You are likely unaware this has happened until you try to file your income tax return and cannot because someone else has already filed a return under your identity.  You can also receive a letter from the IRS indicating the IRS has received a suspicious income tax return under your social security number. 

If you are a victim of tax-related identity theft and do not have an suspect information, a police report is not required. Victims are asked to complete an Identity Theft Affidavit (Form 14039) on the IRS website. Victims should then mail the Identity Theft Affidavit and their income tax return using the most appropriate IRS income tax return forms. For more information regarding this process, view this IRS document.

If you are a victim of tax-related identity theft and have suspect information, contact the your local law enforcement to make a report.  

For more information on general Identity Theft, visit the IRS website.