What is Identity Theft?

Last Update: August 09 2012

As part of our ongoing commitment to keep our citizens informed about possible threats to their financial security, we would like to provide you with information regarding the growing problem of Identity Theft.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity Theft involves acquiring pieces of someone's personal information such as name, address, date of birth, social security number, and mother's maiden name, in order to assume the individual's identity. This information allows the Identity Thief to commit many types of fraud, which include purchasing automobiles, applying for loans, credit cards, apartment rentals, and establishing phone and utility services.

What can I do to prevent Identity Theft?

What do I do if I become the victim of Identity Theft?

For additional information, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or visit http://www.privacyrights.org

In 2003, former Attorney General Charlie Crist and FDLE launched a new web site designed to serve as the State of Florida’s official portal for identity theft information. The site contains a specially designed “Identity Theft Victim Kit” to assist Floridians in navigating through the process of rebuilding their good names. We encourage you to share this web site with citizens in your community and with identity theft victims. The site address is http://www.myfloridalegal.com/identitytheft.

One component of the victim kit will provide instructions for initiating an identity theft claim for victims who suspect that their criminal record information has been compromised. To address this issue, claimants will be instructed to complete the Compromised Identity Review Claim Form which includes (as part of the form) a requirement for fingerprinting by any local law enforcement agency. In order to maintain the integrity of this process, the local law enforcement agency will be responsible for mailing the completed from to FDLE in an official agency envelope where the claimant’s fingerprint will be used to verify the identity of the claimant/victim.

The FDLE will compare the claimant’s personal identifiers and submitted fingerprints against the identifiers and fingerprints contained in the Computerized Criminal History (CCH) files and Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database. The FDLE will contact local law enforcement agencies as necessary to obtain information related to the arrest in which the victim claims his/her identity was fraudulently used by another individual.

If FDLE can verify, through a fingerprint comparison, that the claimant’s personal identifies have been used in a criminal record belonging to another person, FDLE will provide the claimant with a “Compromised Identity Certificate.” This certificate will be issued on security enhanced paper. If the CCH files do not indicate that the claimant has been a victim of identity theft, the FDLE will provide the claimant with an appropriate letter to that effect.