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South Florida Number One in Identity Theft for Second-Straight Year

Ah, identity theft. The scourge of our web-retail purchasing nation and a damned pain in the ass to try to fix.

South Florida is the mecca of identity theft. Because, of course it is!

And now, for the second straight year, we've got a monkey-fisted death grip on the number-one ranking, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

High-five, everybody!

Florida has the highest per capita rate of reported fraud and other complaints, according to the feds, with 133,973, or 694 per 100,000 people.

Across the board, U.S. consumers have paid more than $1.4 billion in fraud complaints.

We're not sure how those numbers are calculated, but that's a crapload o' folks getting their I.D.'s ganked.

And, as it stands, in a combined effort of Floriderpness, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties rank numero uno in the nation in identity theft complaints.

According to the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida -- headquartered in West Palm Beach -- the reason SoFla ranks number one two-straight years basically boils down to old people.

"The demographics lead the charge. Due to the age of the population, people are more vulnerable," says BBB spokesman Michael Galvin.

Galvin says that the bad guys are giving up dealing drugs and weapons, because of the dangers as well as the likely chance of getting caught, and moving on to doing their bad deeds on the Internet. Identity theft is a lot easier to pull off. There's also a much lesser chance of getting shot in the face, and even of getting busted when you're sitting behind a lap top and stealing people's money.

Documents, benefits and tax fraud have accounted for 72 percent of the identify theft complaints in Florida the past two years.

"These are syndicates, gangs that are well-organized," Galvin said.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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