According to the Florida Attorney General’s Office, this week is Identity Theft Week in Florida and throughout the country. The purpose of Identity Theft Week is to raise awareness as to the various ways people are at risk of having their identities and financial information stolen. As the Internet and other technology have become more popular, thieves have come up with numerous ways to try to learn identification and financial information from unsuspecting victims.
For instance, as the Florida Attorney General’s website notes, “phishing” is a common way thieves try to get people to provide their identification and financial information. Phishing is the process by which a thief will send out mass emails to people that appear to come from legitimate entities like a bank, credit card company or retailer. The email may say that there is a problem with the person’s bank account or credit card and request certain information that would allow the thief to access financial information.
Banks and credit card companies do not request such information via email. If you have received an email asking for any information that could lead to access to your financial information (such as a social security number, date of birth, credit card number, PIN), you can call the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1.866.966.7226 to report the incident and help determine if a communication is valid.