Fraudsters victimized Floridians at an average of 693.5 out of every 100,000 residents. Identity thieves added to the woes, targeting 361.3 people per 100,000.
Southern Florida, including Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County, has the highest rate of identity theft in the nation with a staggering 654.4 victims per 100,000 citizens.
There are a number of suspected causes for Florida's rates of fraud and identity theft. The age of the population, changes in criminal activities, and the number of tourists have all been cited as having some impact on the overall numbers.
The number of identity theft cases has increased. Criminals who used to mug tourists or break into apartments are turning to identity theft. Using the Internet, these criminals are able to obtain vital information without alerting the victim. These criminals then take out loans, apply for credit cards, and pilfer bank accounts without having to meet the victim.
Floridians are urged to check their credit reports annually, report any fraudulent activities to the police, and to keep personal information secure online and in person.
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