ID theft gets new focus Tax season is prime time in a state already at the top of the FBI’s problem list, authorities say
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 @ 4:29AM
By Linda Trischitta Staff writer
It’s time to do tax returns and here’s some motivation to get it done quickly: Identity thieves will try to get your refund before you do.
FBI Miami chief Michael Steinbach called ID theft a "huge, growing problem" in South Florida, which in 2012 led the country with 645 such complaints per 100,000 people.
That’s double the area’s 2011 rate of 324 complaints per 100,000 people, the Federal Trade Commission says.
"Stolen ID fraud is giving health-care fraud a run for the money," said Steinbach. He called Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties "victim-rich environments."
Fighting ID theft has become a top priority for the division’s 800 employees who work between Fort Pierce and Key West.
Law enforcement on federal and state levels are working together to stem its growth, he said.