Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft is so bad in South Florida, we are one of the national focuses of a new campaign promoting Cyber-Safety by the U-S Department of Homeland Security.
Just how bad is the problem here?
It happens every day around South Florida, a stolen credit card is used to buy something the scam artist will never have to pay for.
And that’s why Florida is considered one of the top states in the country for credit card theft.
It hits more than 11 million victims across the country and remains at its’ worst level in almost a decade folliwoing the Great Recession.
The bill to the banks?
Believed to be in excess of $50 billion dollars a year.
So what can we do to avoid getting ripped off?
The FBI Recommends:
Keep a list of all your credit cards and write down al their fraud hotline telephone numbers.
Carefully check your monthly statements and be on the lookout for any unauthorized charges.
If you find any, report them to your Credit Card Company immediately and consider canceling the compromised account number, and get a new one.
Online Cyber-Crimes are also on the rise. So be careful entering any financial data, like saving account numbers or other personal financial information beyond your basic credit card numbers.
And if you’re surfing the web at a local store or coffee shop, don’t forget the network you’re on could be easily hacked and allow anyone to capture your financial data while your online.
Always try to use a secure network connection when buying anything online or when checking bank account balances on a networked computer or smart phone.
With South Florida expected to remain a national hot-spot for credit card fraud and identity theft, the good news is State, Local and Federal Investigators are setting-up special Electronic Crime Taskforces to better coordinate going after the bad guys.
But the first line of defense remains being careful and making sure your credit cards and other personal financial data doesn’t find its’ way into the hands of a thief.
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