South Florida #1 in U.S. for identity theft - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

South Florida #1 in U.S. for identity theft

By Dan Corcoran

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - A new report from the Federal Trade Commission has found South Florida is 'number one' when it comes to the fastest growing crime in America. Identity theft occurs every three seconds, and too often it is happening in the Sunshine State. It was the top complaint of American consumers in 2013.

Jacie Keeley of Delray Beach does not know where or when it happened to her. "No idea," she said. "A very smart and clever person." Keeley said she was victimized in 2011 but did not find out about it until last year. The damage to her credit had already been done.

The new Federal Trade Commission report found the metropolitan area, that includes Palm Beach County, is the worst of the worst. For every 10,000 people, statistics show about 645 people fall victim.

"Florida really has a big target on it," said tech security expert Alan Crowetz, President and CEO of InfoStream, based in Palm Beach County. Crowetz says the large transient and tourist population may be boosting Florida's ID theft ranking. "You come here, you are on public Wi-Fi and unknown hotels," he said. "If someone rips you off, the next day, you may not even be in the same city any more."

ID thieves act fast and often prey on older, less tech-savvy people. Crowetz says that could be another vulnerability for Florida - reflected in the FTC findings. "This isn't just a potential threat," he said. "This is really happening right here in our area."

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, experts say, you have to act quickly. On average, once an identity is stolen, it will be used approximately 30 times.

Copyright 2014 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • DeKalb County Sheriff's Office will open Saturdays

    DeKalb County Sheriff's Office will open Saturdays

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 8:10 AM EDT2017-03-28 12:10:41 GMT
    Source: WAFFSource: WAFF

    Beginning Saturday, April 1,  DeKalb County Sheriff's Office will be open from 8 a.m. through 3:45 p.m. for people to pick up reports and renew their pistol permits.  "For the past couple of years we have been working on opening the office on Saturdays to accommodate the people who are unable to make it to the office during our regular office hours," Sheriff Jimmy Harris said.   "We feel like this will help people who are unable to make it down her...

    More >>

    Beginning Saturday, April 1,  DeKalb County Sheriff's Office will be open from 8 a.m. through 3:45 p.m. for people to pick up reports and renew their pistol permits.  "For the past couple of years we have been working on opening the office on Saturdays to accommodate the people who are unable to make it to the office during our regular office hours," Sheriff Jimmy Harris said.   "We feel like this will help people who are unable to make it down her...

    More >>
  • Sheffield Fire Department struggling with high turnover rate

    Sheffield Fire Department struggling with high turnover rate

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 8:09 AM EDT2017-03-28 12:09:59 GMT
    Source: WAFFSource: WAFF

    Our news gathering partner at the Decatur Times Daily reports the city of Sheffield in Colbert County is dealing with a staffing shortage in their fire department.  Fire Chief Dewey King, who is also the city's public safety director, says that low wages are contributing to a high turnover rate. 

    More >>

    Our news gathering partner at the Decatur Times Daily reports the city of Sheffield in Colbert County is dealing with a staffing shortage in their fire department.  Fire Chief Dewey King, who is also the city's public safety director, says that low wages are contributing to a high turnover rate. 

    More >>
  • Lauren: Tracking more storms Thursday

    Lauren: Tracking more storms Thursday

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 8:03 AM EDT2017-03-28 12:03:33 GMT
    Source: WAFFSource: WAFF

    The last bit of the lingering rain will push south of the Valley this morning. Cloud cover will also begin breaking up, allowing temperatures to warm into the upper 70s. ?

    More >>

    The last bit of the lingering rain will push south of the Valley this morning. Cloud cover will also begin breaking up, allowing temperatures to warm into the upper 70s. ?

    More >>
Powered by Frankly