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Latest Trends In Hernando County Fraud / ID Theft
Beware of the Deed Scam (added 4/8/2015)
A new Deed Scam is going on around the country and has made its way to Hernando County. The scam is described in this article: http://www.realtor.com/news/beware-of-this-deed-scam/ Basically, a letter is sent to a new homeowner requesting $83.00 for a copy of the homeowner’s property deed to be sent to them. These “bills” are being sent from what appears to be a company in California and are a scam. They may appear with titles such as “Deed Processing Service” or “Record Transfer Services”. Normally these documents are sent to new home buyers for free after sale or transfer. These records are public record and are available through the county clerk’s office should the homeowner need another copy. The scam is disguising itself as a “service” which charges $83.00 for something you can do yourself for free on the Hernando County Clerk of Court Website or for $1 per page at the clerk’s office.

“Generally, if you receive a solicitation asking for more money after your closing, it isn’t legitimate. But if you aren’t sure or want more information, contact your county clerk’s office or your real estate agent.” Realtor.com
Citi Bank Scam Alert (added 3/13/2015)
Public Beware of recent information received involving Citi Bank customers. Customers may first receive a telephone call from “Citi Bank” advising that your Citi account is past due. The call is a recorded message and asks the customer to verify the card number, along with other personal identification information.

Customers are also receiving letters from the scammer that look legitimately from Citi Bank that includes the company logo, the last five digits of your card number along with your full name and address.

The letter also indicates that the customer’s account reflects a past due status and “together we will find a solution”. A telephone number is provided. It was confirmed that the number does not belong to Citi Bank.

This is a scam! Do not call the number provided on the letter or give your account number to the recorded message. Call the telephone number on the back of your credit card, or the customer service telephone number listed on your billing statement.

NW3C Cyber Threat Advisory and Analysis Series (added 1/27/2014)
End of Life For Windows XP and Office 2003
Recent Pattern Of Activity - Mail Theft (added 1/23/2014)
There have been several recent fraud crimes committed that directly relate to mail theft. Both incoming and outgoing mail thefts have been reported. Identity theft, check theft & forgery, credit card theft, and fraudulent use of a credit card are a few of the crimes directly related to mail theft. There have been arrests made and other subjects related to this activity have been identified and are currently under investigation. This is not isolated to one geographic area so all citizens should be on alert. We had similar activity several years ago and a few subjects from that group are STILL in prison. The faster we can make an example of these suspects the faster we can deter any others from committing similar crimes. Tips to help prevent these crimes:
  1. Do not put outgoing mail in the mailbox the night before (especially: if checks or personal id information is in the envelope)
  2. Use post office mail boxes or drop locations if possible
  3. If you are have to use your mailbox put the mail in at the latest possible time to limit the availability to thieves
  4. If you will be out of town put a “hold” on your mail or have someone collect your mail for you
  5. If you believe you have a check/credit card that is overdue contact your financial institution to make sure it hasn’t been delivered and/or has not been used.
  6. If you make a check out to cash in the mail try to put as much detail as possible in the memo section to hopefully prevent and/or deter someone from attempting to cash it. (i.e. for John’s birthday, specific service, etc.)
  7. If you observe a suspicious person/vehicle that appears to be driving around your neighborhood call the HCSO with as much detail as possible about the person/vehicle. A description alone can sometimes assist us in tracking/identifying subjects that may already be under investigation.
  8. If you have information concerning this or any other criminal activity remember that you can anonymously report your information via Crimestoppers and possibly be eligible for a cash reward.
Holiday Cyber-scams and how to combat them
Holiday Cyber-scam information
A few things you can do to prevent being a victim
  • Change all passwords.
  • Contact one of the three credit bureaus to report the crime (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion). Request a fraud alert on the credit report to prevent any further fraudulent activity.
  • Close any compromised bank accounts and cancel credit cards that are being used fraudulently.
  • Contact the Social Security Administration if a social security number may have been stolen.
If you identify a possible cyber-scam report them to the Federal Trade Commission and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to augment law enforcement’s knowledge-base of ongoing scams. By understanding the types of cyber-scams perpetrated during the holidays and helping to prevent, investigate and prosecute them, law enforcement can help make the holidays less stressful and happier for all.
Credit Card Text Message Scam
Please be aware of text messages stating “Suntrust ALERT-CARD LOCKED PLEASE CALL (303) 720-7420” or similar verbage. Upon calling a voice will direct you to enter your card number and other personal information. This appears to be a scam trying to trick people into giving up their credit card information. Other people have reported receiving similar texts from the same phone number for other banks as well.
TBO Scam News Video
Social Security Payment Diversion:
There have been numerous victims throughout Hernando County and the Tampa Bay area that have had their Social Security Payment diverted to “Green Dot” credit/debit cards. Please contact Social Security immediately to create a password to protect your account from online/telephone access. Follow this link immediately to protect yourself: https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do
Elderly residents information being used for Income Tax fraud:
Elderly residents and deceased persons identities are being used to commit income tax fraud. If you, a relative and/or friend are no longer required to file an income tax return (by qualifying per IRS rule: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96623,00.html ) but suspect your information may have been used to file a fraudulent return can check your last few years income tax activity from the IRS by using this link: https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/irfof-tra/start.do . If you find any fraudulent returns contact your local law enforcement and/or the IRS to make an Identity Theft report. (The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office will take a police report and investigate as far as possible, some agencies may refer you directly to the IRS). If your identity was used for income tax fraud be sure to file a fraud alert with all 3 major credit reporting agencies (information can be found at: http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/flag.html)
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