South Florida Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft Continue to Make News

A Miami man and three others were arrested in Port Charlotte after deputies were called to the Port Charlotte Wal-Mart with reports of four people trying to purchase gift cards using denied and fraudulent credit cards, according to WINK News.

The four were stopped by deputies shortly after departing from Wal-Mart and the crew (reportedly) consented to officials searching the vehicle. Detectives found newly purchased clothing, electronics, goods, cigarettes and various additional items from different locations around Florida. Deputies also located 11 fraudulent credit cards and gift cards in the vehicle, according to NBC 2.

Our Miami credit card fraud attorneys urge you to keep your financial tools monitored closely as bank fraud and identity theft are on the rise in South Florida. As defendants, you also need to remain aware of your rights. The probable cause for the search will certainly be an issue in this case, as will the allegation that the defendants voluntarily agreed to permit a search by law enforcement.

Another case of bank fraud and identity theft had all but three of 12 defendants, charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud according to United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida. The dozen criminals are facing charges for violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, and conspiracy to commit access.

Two of the defendants were office assistants at separate medical offices in the area, while one worked for a local school board. All had access to private patient and employee information, including names, social security numbers and birth dates. The defendants are accused of selling the information for the purpose of creating fraudulent “authorized user accounts” on the victims’ bank accounts and credit cards. Charges on one victim’s account totaled nearly $130,000.

South Florida Caribbean News offers you a few easy steps to help keep yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft:

-Keep your Social Security Card secret. Do not carry it in your wallet and only provide it on a strict necessary basis.

-Guard your garbage. Be sure to shred receipts, credit applications, physician statements, insurance forms, expired credit cards, etc. Be sure to drop off mail that includes personal information to your local post office instead of leaving it in your home mailbox.

-Be extra careful on the Internet. Scammers are getting pretty crafty in their trade and are now tricking more and more users into freely handing out personal information through bogus websites. If you suspect a website may be fraudulent, report the website information to FBI Internet Fraud site.