On Monday, state Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert and new Scams at a Glance material to help Floridians guard against identity theft in recognition of National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than 650,000 consumers fell victim to identity theft in 2019, an increase of more than 200,000 from 2018. Floridians reported the third most identity theft reports of any state with more than 64,000. Helping Floridians safeguard their personal information is a major focus of Moody—especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the waning days of last-minute holiday shopping.
“Identity theft continues to be a growing problem across the country and Floridians need to be aware of steps they can take to protect their personal information. Our office’s latest Scams at a Glance addition highlights these steps and is a great resource on preventing consumers from falling into potential traps that identity thieves use to steal personal and financial information. Following these simple steps can help prevent identity theft that can wreak havoc on individuals and families,” Moody said on Monday.
Identity theft, as defined by federal law, occurs when someone uses or attempts to use the private personal information of another person to commit fraud. Scams at a Glance: Identity Theft is designed to equip Floridians with tips and information on how to spot, prevent and recover from identity theft.
Tips highlighted in Scams at a Glance: Identity Theft include:
- Red flags that identity theft has occurred;
- Ways to guard personal information; and
- Steps to recover from identity theft.
Scams at a Glance is an outreach program created by the Attorney General’s Office, complete with a webpage containing information about common and emerging scams. The webpage also provides downloadable brochures designed to equip consumers with knowledge on how to avoid falling victim to fraud. The brochures on the website are available in both English and Spanish.