How Common is Identity Theft in Jacksonville?

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Each year, 15 million Americans fall victim to identity theft – nearly 1 in 14 people over the age of 16. With losses in excess of $10 billion per year, identify theft is one of the country’s most financially damaging crimes.

Florida ranks third nationally for per capita instances of identity theft, and Jacksonville has the ninth highest rate of any major metropolitan area in the nation. And those alarming numbers don’t even include unreported cases in which victims don’t realize crooks are taking advantage of them.

Here in Jacksonville, some high-profile cases recently made headlines. Earlier this month, two men pleaded guilty to attempted bank fraud after a traffic stop revealed 15 forms of identification for seven different individuals and 25 counterfeit checks made out to those people.

In another case, a Jacksonville auto shop owner was sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing the identities of 44 people, four of whom were deceased, filing fraudulent tax returns on their behalves and then pocketing the returns. She collected more than $350,000 before being caught.

John Breyault, vice president of National Consumers League, a nonprofit advocacy group, said, “High identity theft rates could become the ‘new normal’ for consumers in Florida and around the country.”

Breyault suggests the area’s transient population, large number of senior citizens, rapid development and little government oversight make Florida – and Jacksonville – prime targets for identity thieves.

Protecting yourself from identity theft requires proactive measures to guard personal documents and information. Access to your Social Security number, driver’s license, passport, credit cards, bank account info and more are pure gold for identity thieves. To make matters worse, you have to protect more than just the tangible items, including the personal data that floats around the Internet.

With so many vulnerabilities, it’s a good idea to seek professional protection. At Scott Alarm, we partner with IDShield to offer our Jacksonville customers the best possible identity theft protection.

IDShield is a leader in monitoring for fraudulent activity, specializing in restoring your credit and good name if criminals strike. With individual plans available for just $9.95 per month, this vital protection is surprisingly affordable. In fact, with identity theft on the rise, you can’t afford to be without it.

Learn More About IDShield