Tip of the Day Blog
    The Web
« Free Websites | Main | Desktop PCs: The Essential Buying Guide »

Identify Theft - A Message from Florida's Attorney General

Sunday kicks off National Consumer Protection Week, and the event?s spotlight on Identity Theft could not come at a better time.

The crime of ID Theft is growing at an alarming rate in Florida and across the country. That?s why the official theme for the upcoming week ? ?Identity Theft: When Fact Becomes Fiction? ? is so appropriate.

More than 14,000 Floridians filed ID theft complaints with the federal government last year, a 30 percent jump from the previous year. Any crime growing that rapidly demands the full attention of authorities and consumers alike.

With that in mind, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in conjunction with the Attorney General?s Office, has just published a handy consumer guide to preventing identity theft. The brochure, entitled ?Protecting Your Good Name,? offers helpful suggestions on how to prevent ID theft and what to do if you do become a victim. You can obtain a copy of the brochure from FDLE or download it from our web site at

The brochure is just the latest in a series of steps against ID theft. On December 15, this office hosted Florida?s first-ever Identity Theft Summit in Miami. This important event brought together law enforcement, businesses, bankers, consumers and others to share ideas about fighting this spreading crime. We have also added another victim advocate in our Office of Statewide Prosecution in order to better assist ID theft victims, and our Economic Crimes Office in Tampa has established a unit to investigate illegal email spam, including spam that ?phishes? for personal information.

The Attorney General?s Office has also stepped up enforcement activities against ID thieves, bolstered by legislation we supported to target these criminals. Just this week, our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit arrested a woman on fraud and ID theft charges after she allegedly used patient information to bill the Florida Medicaid program for medications she never provided to the patients. In recent months we have arrested or prosecuted numerous individuals responsible for the loss of literally millions of dollars through identity theft.

Identity theft is a crime that can literally turn a victim?s life upside-down. During this National Consumer Protection Week, I encourage you to review the steps you can take to avoid becoming the next victim.

EmailEmail Article to Friend