ID Theft Alliance gears up to fight ID theft this tax season

For Immediate Release              

March 15, 2013
TAMPA – Law enforcement officers from 10 Tampa Bay agencies were deputized by the Internal Revenue Service as Special IRS Criminal Investigators today at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center.  The swearing-in represents another step in the effort to fight ID theft and allows officers of the Tampa Bay Identity Theft Alliance to investigate allegations under federal bank and money laundering laws and exercise authority outside their current jurisdictions.  

The Tampa Bay Identity Theft Alliance was formed in July 2012 to combat the high number of identity theft crimes in Tampa and surrounding areas.  The goal of this specialized law enforcement team is to investigate ID theft crimes and pinpoint vulnerabilities in personal and business transactions. 
Members of the Tampa Bay Identity Theft Alliance who were sworn in today include agents from FDLE, officers from Tampa, Clearwater, Largo, Brooksville and St. Petersburg Police Departments and deputies from Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee and Hernando County Sheriffs’ Offices. Other partners include the IRS, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, United States Postal Inspection Service, Department of Veteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and Plant City Police Department. Outreach partners are Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay, CBS Outdoor Advertisers, HART LINE, Direct Mailers and the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Association for Certified Fraud Examiners.   
Five simple steps to protect your identity:
·         Do not throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements without first shredding them.
·         Never give out personal information online simply because someone asks for it.
·         Never give your credit card number or social security number over the telephone unless you initiated the call.
·         Reconcile your bank account monthly and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.
·         Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year.
What to do if you are a victim:
·         Flag your credit reports. Contact the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).
·         File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338).
·         File a report with the local police.
·         If you received a notice from the IRS, call the number on that notice.
·         Fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039.
·         Call IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit 1-800-908-4490 if you think you are at risk due to a lost/stolen purse or wallet.
For additional tips on how to protect your identity, visit or or
If you have information about fraudulent activity contact Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-8477.
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Steve Arthur or Deborah McDonald
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001
(813) 878-7375

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Priorities

FDLE is composed of five areas: Executive Direction and Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism and Florida Capitol Police. FDLE’s duties, responsibilities and procedures are mandated through Chapter 943, FS, and Chapter 11, FAC. To learn more about these areas, read our Statement of Agency Organization and Operation or visit our Open Government page.