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CFO Sink Offers Tips to Fight Id Theft during National ‘Protect Your Identity Week’

10/19/2009

CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Nina Banister, (850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE- Florida CFO Alex Sink today encouraged Floridians to protect their identity as part of National Protect Your Identity Week held October 17-24, 2009. Identity thieves steal Social Security numbers, credit card and bank account numbers and other personal information to open bank and credit card accounts, secure car loans and more. Even if a victim doesn’t lose money, they can suffer financial difficulty and frustration from ruined credit ratings. 
 
“In 2008, over 10 million people had their identity compromised,” said CFO Sink.  “We want Floridians to be proactive and know how to protect themselves against becoming a victim. The best protection against identity theft is the ability to recognize it.”
 
CFO Sink urged Floridians to follow these tips to guard their personal information, and fight fraud and identity theft:
 
  • Be stingy with your Social Security number. Don’t have it printed on your checks. If someone asks you for your social security number to set up or verify an account, ask if some other identifier can be used instead.
  • Shred unwanted credit card applications, transaction slips and other documents with personal information.
  • Try not to let your card out of your sight. When doing so is unavoidable, such as when you are dining out, use cash instead.
  • Check your mailbox every day. When traveling, ask a friend to get your mail, or have the post office hold it for you. Drop off outgoing mail at the post office or place it in a collection box.
 
For more information or to file a complaint, call the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at (850) 410-7000 or the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338. For information on fraud and protecting yourself from identity theft, or to request an outreach program on identify theft for your club or organization, visit CFO Sink’s Web site at www.MyFloridaCFO.com or contact the Consumer Helpline at (850) 413-3089 or toll-free at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
 
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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practices.