State releases guide to safeguard against ID theft


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The state of Florida has released a resource guide to help resident prevent identity theft.

The guide offers information about the many forms of identity theft, ways consumers can further protect private information and steps to take if identity theft occurs, officials said.

“Identity theft is a devastating crime that can leave victims facing years of financial hardship, but this new guide provides Floridians with the tools needed to better protect their sensitive financial and medical information from identify thieves,” Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a news release.

Identity theft occurs when someone uses or attempts to use the private personal information of another person to commit fraud, typically for economic gain. Tax identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission for the past five years, state officials said.

However, there are other ways scammers can use someone’s personal information to commit identity theft. Children are particularly at risk for identity theft because there is currently no other credit history associated with a minor’s Social Security number, officials said.

While identity theft is often associated with stolen credit card numbers and unauthorized loans, it also occurs in the medical field. Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses or attempts to use another person’s name and insurance information to receive medical treatment or acquire prescription drugs. Someone working in the medical field could also use another person’s information to submit fraudulent bills to insurance providers.

For more information on types of identity theft, warning signs and tips, view the resource guide here.

Anyone who suspects identity theft should file a standard FTC Identity Theft Affidavit at IdentityTheft.gov and contact local law enforcement. Consumers can also file complaints about identity theft and other types of fraud with the Attorney General’s Office by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or calling (866) 9-NO-SCAM.