Officials Warn Floridians To Watch Out For Identity Theft Scammers

Aug 16, 2016
Originally published on August 16, 2016 4:26 pm

Florida officials are warning people about identity theft scammers—a common form of financial fraud.

Scammers typically gain people’s information through identity theft scams.

“…using credit card skimmers, or phishing emails or dumpster diving even,” said Jamie Mongiovi, the Office of Financial Regulation spokeswoman. “But, telephone scams and credit card scams and stolen personal items are common ways they get your personal information, and once they have it, they may try to apply for a loan or a credit card in your name or even file taxes.”

So, to reduce the risk of becoming a victim, Mongiovi says there’s a few things people should know. One of the goals of her agency is to help reduce financial fraud in Florida.

“Never give out personal information over the phone or through e-mail, especially if someone is contacting you and it’s unsolicited contact,” she added. “Don’t click on links on e-mails that ask you to verify or provide personal information. You want to shred any documents that have personal information on them.”

Anyone who believes they’re a financial fraud victim should contact OFR at (850) 487-9687 or file a complaint online at www.flofr.com.

“So, they can always call the Office of Financial Regulation to file a complaint and we can get that to the right place,” Mongiovi continued. “However, the most important thing is to call the company if you know where the fraud occurred and then place a fraud alert on your credit report and get copies of that report and then report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission and you can do that online.”

In early 2016, the Federal Trade Commission reported identity theft complaints were up 47-percent over last year. Mongiovi says much of that can be attributed to tax and wage related fraud.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

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