Florida Leads Nation In Identity Theft

MIAMI (AP) – When it comes thieves stealing personal information, Florida tops the list.

Florida has the highest rate of identity theft in the nation, according to Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer, with the stolen information often used to commit tax fraud.

In 2012, Florida had an identity theft rate of more than 361 complaints per 100,000 residents. Miami led with way with about 645 complaints per 100,000 residents.

Ferrer says his office has prosecuted 270 defendants since a strike force was formed in 2012. Those cases involved some $449 million in fraudulent tax refund claims and about 76,700 identity thefts.

Authorities say tax returns should be filed early so identity thieves don’t get to the IRS first. People also shouldn’t carry any document that includes their Social Security number.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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