South Florida tops in country for identity theft, fraud

Miami-Dade Police say holidays bring out scammers looking to take advantage of shoppers

MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Miami-Dade Police are warning citizens about scammers this holiday season.

Law enforcement and several other agencies are warning people to keep an eye on their wallets and personal information while shopping for the holidays.

“It’s unfortunate that we still as a community are the number one place for fraud in this nation,” said Director of Miami-Dade Police Juan Perez.

“We know that every year there are some scammers out there that are going to try to steal your identity and try to do some harm to you that you may be responsible for if you don’t take the appropriate measures,” said Perez.

With tax season only a few months away, several groups are joining together to urge people to be aware of scammers looking to take advantage of shoppers.

“Remember, while you are shopping for gifts criminals are shopping for your credit cards, your Social Security Number, your date of birth, your financial accounts and other sensitive data that can help file a fraudulent tax return,” said IRS criminal investigator John Siddons.

The most common targets of fraud are the elderly.

“In fiscal year 2019 alone our office has prosecuted over 130 defendants for crimes involving stolen information,” said Major Crimes Deputy Daya Nathan.

Be on the lookout for phishing emails that appear to ask for too much personal information and don’t click any links in an email that don’t appear legitimate.

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