Volume 5 Number 15
April 11, 2008

CROOKS USE STATE'S NAME TO ATTEMPT IDENTITY THEFT

The Office of Financial Regulation has been alerted that someone has been making phone calls claiming to be with the State of Florida Division of Securities in an effort to obtain personal financial information.

Con artists know that people trust government agencies. This is why they are using the “State of Florida’s” name in an attempt to obtain confidential information from consumers and businesses.

These callers trick you into revealing personal financial and private information. Fraudsters use the information they obtain to steal your identity and your financial assets. These types of identity theft scams are commonly referred to as "phishing schemes.”

The Division of Securities will not ask for your PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for your credit card, bank or other financial accounts. CONTINUED

If you receive a phone call from someone who claims to be from the State of Florida Division of Securities or another government agency asking you for confidential information, assume that the call is fraudulent and do not provide the information.

Instead, you should “independently verify” that the person actually represents the government agency. Do that by contacting the state agency yourself and confirm that the person who called you actually represents that office.

Likewise, be cautious of e-mails asking you to verify or provide account information. Only give personal information to someone if you initiate the contact and you know how your information will be used.

If you have been contacted by someone misrepresenting himself as an employee of the State of Florida, Division of Securities, please notify us by calling 850-410-9701.