February 6 - 12, 2005 , has been designated National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) to highlight consumer protection and education efforts around the country. The subject of this year's NCPW is Identity Theft: When Fact Becomes Fiction.
Your everyday transactions usually reveal bits of your personal information: your bank and credit card account numbers; your income; your Social Security number (SSN); or your name, address, and phone numbers. An identity thief obtains some piece of your sensitive information and uses it without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. Identity theft is a serious crime. People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years — and their hard-earned money — cleaning up the mess the thieves have made of their good name and credit record. Some victims have lost job opportunities, been refused loans for education, housing or cars, or even been arrested for crimes they didn't commit.
Whether you're an adult, student, parent, teacher, or consumer advocate, we encourage you to use the resources on this site and do what you can to minimize your risk of identity theft. The site has information from federal, state and local governments, as well as national advocacy organizations.
The links below are for your information only. The goal of the Division of Consumer Services is to provide additional information to consumers. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services does not review or confirm these sites for accuracy.
You could be a victim of identity theft. It occurs when someone pretends to be you, using your Social Security number, your credit cards and your bank account numbers to borrow money, open new credit card accounts or charge thousands of dollars to buy cars, clothes or vacations.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
In the worst case, you could find yourself a victim of identity theft. With the sensitive information obtained from a successful phishing scam, these thieves can take out loans or obtain credit cards and even driver's licenses in your name. They can do damage to your financial history and personal reputation that can take years to unravel. But if you understand how phishing works and how to protect yourself, you can help stop this crime.
Florida Computer Crime Center (FC3)
This site is brought to you by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Computer crime can take many forms. It is an expanding criminal activity, with new methods developing every day. Varieties of computer crime include anything from Internet fraud to viruses to Cyberstalking.
Identity Theft, How to Avoid: Did you know that your personal informatXion can be stolen? It's hard to believe, but if you aren't careful with your personal information you may be an easy target for identity theft. Review this brochure to see how you can avoid becoming a victim of identity theft!
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Their mission is to identify, protect, represent, and advance the economic and social interests of consumers and workers. NCL runs the National Fraud Information Center and the Internet Fraud Watch.