One in Three Floridians Report ID Theft

In the wake of several high-profile data breaches, consumers are concerned about the possibility of their personal and financial information landing in the wrong hands. 

But, according to a AAA Consumer Pulse survey, nearly one in three Floridians say they already have been the victim of identity theft or fraud in the past two years.

The most popular crimes committed by identity thieves include fraudulent credit card use, ATM withdrawals, and tax refund theft. 

In 2016, $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million identity fraud victims in the U.S., according to a national study.

AAA says it found that the majority of Floridians share concerns about becoming victims of identity theft, and those concerns have lead to low levels of trust in institutions we provide our personal information to on a frequent basis. 

Nearly half of Floridians surveyed have low levels of trust that gas stations would keep their information secure. 

One in four consumers said they have low trust that ATMs can keep banking information out of the hands of identity thieves. 

When asked about shopping, one in five Floridians have a low levels of trust that online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores would keep their identity secure. 

While over half of Floridians said they only have chip-based credit cards, a majority of shoppers reported they had shopped at stores in the past 3 months that did not have an activated or working chip card reader.  

Additional findings from the report showed that Floridians are taking steps to prevent identity theft.

Clear majorities monitor their bank accounts and credit card transactions, and receive email alerts on suspicious transactions.

Fifty percent say they check their credit score.

Officials say there are some solid tips for keeping personal information secure.

These tips start with signing up for a credit monitoring service. 

People are also advised to review their credit card statement, bank account, and credit report regularly. 

Be on the lookout for any unauthorized transactions and report them immediately.

Do not respond to unsolicited requests for personal information over the phone, by mail, or online.

Securely store your debit, credit and medical card information. 

Select PIN numbers that are easy for you to remember and don’t let anyone else see the number when you are entering it. 

Do not carry any record of your PIN number in your wallet. 

Shred credit card statements, receipts, or any medical records containing sensitive information before disposing of them. 

Also, ensure your credit cards and debit have been updated to include EMV or "chip" technology.

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