New I.D. Theft Scam Targets FL Licensees
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Oct. 3, 2012 – Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is warning all state licensees about a new license renewal scam that targets the state’s licensees. At least one real estate licensee was targeted.
According to a warning letter issued by DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson, a “real estate broker recently received an unsolicited email claiming his brokers’ licenses were the subject of disciplinary action from an entity posing as (DBPR).” The broker was told to call a toll-free number and provide personal identification information to an investigator with DBPR. However, DBPR did not send the letter, nor is the toll-free number related to DBPR.
In his letter, Lawson asks real estate licensees not to respond to any email in which DBPR warns of a disciplinary action, and not to call any phone numbers listed in the email.
“Instead, contact the department directly at (850) 487-1395,” Lawson says. “You may also log into your online account to determine if any suspension is pending against your license. The theft of personal identification information is a crime and should be reported immediately to local law enforcement.”
DBPR says it’s working with law enforcement to determine whether any crime has occurred.
Scammer attacks on licensees represent the latest twist for identity theft, an increasingly savvy crime. Florida ranks first per capita in identity theft complaints nationwide (more than 178 complaints per 100,000 residents) and sixth in fraud complaints (about 515 complaints per 100,000 residents), according to the Consumer Sentinel Network.
On the city level, Miami leads the country with 324 complaints per 100,000, though seven Florida cities also rank in the top 20.
© 2012 Florida Realtors®