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  • Drop Off Shredding At Our Location!

    Posted on April 30th, 2014 admin No comments

    Miami’s Leader for Confidential Paper Shredding and Data Destruction

    secure paper shreddingMicroShred specializes in shredding documents for residential, business and government organizations. If you have confidential and sensitive information that you would like completely destroyed, you can come to our location in Miami and watch it get shredded yourself.

    Don’t leave any opportunity for identity thieves to jump on! Shredding all your personal information is imperative. Trust the South Florida shredding experts at MicroShred, LLC for all your document and hard drive destruction needs! Materials are destroyed beyond recognition, reconstruction and readability. No need to remove paper clips, staples, binder clips or other fasteners. We shred everything!

    Upon completion, you are issued a Certificate of Destruction certifying the time and date your materials were destroyed.

    We Shred:

    • Paper
    • CDs
    • DVDs
    • Hard Drives

    Fully Licensed, Bonded & Insured

    We are members of NAID (The National Association for Information Destruction), an international trade association for companies providing information destruction services who sets national standards for data destruction. Our primary objective is to protect and safeguard your confidential information with the highest level of security and value in the market.

    Trusted By Many Industries Throughout Miami & South Florida

    Our diverse clientele includes government offices, schools, healthcare agencies, financial institutions, manufacturing companies and law offices. We have established these relationships by providing our clients with superior security, outstanding customer service and cost effective pricing. No matter the type of organization, or whether you need to comply with FACTA, HIPAA or Gramm-Leach-Bliley regulations, MicroShred is your answer for confidential shredding services.

    For more information, visit us here http://microshred.com/drop-off-paper-miami.htm

     

  • Document Destruction for Miami & South Florida

    Posted on November 25th, 2013 admin No comments

    Miami’s Leader for Confidential Paper Shredding and Destroying Data

    MicroShred, LLC offers several types of shredding services depending on your needs. We use highly trained, responsible and bonded service personnel to handle your confidential data. We also provide free estimates and a 30 day risk free trial for qualified companies interested in our mobile route services.

    All destruction is done by our mobile shredding trucks. We will come to your home or place of business and shred your confidential material without interfering with your daily operations. You may, of course, witness the process at any time. The materials are destroyed beyond recognition, reconstruction and readability. No need to remove paper clips, staples, binder clips or other fasteners. We shred everything!

    Upon completion, you are issued a Certificate of Destruction certifying the time and date your materials were destroyed. The obliterated material is then transported to our secured recycling facility. MicroShred recycles all of the paper that we’ve destroyed.

    Fully Licensed, Bonded & Insured

    We are members of NAID (The National Association for Information Destruction), an international trade association for companies providing information destruction services who sets national standards for data destruction. Our primary objective is to protect and safeguard your confidential information with the highest level of security and value in the market.

    Trusted By Many Industries Throughout Miami & South Florida

    Our diverse clientele includes government offices, schools, healthcare agencies, financial institutions, manufacturing companies and law offices. We have established these relationships by providing our clients with superior security, outstanding customer service and cost effective pricing. No matter the type of organization, or whether you need to comply with FACTA, HIPAA or Gramm-Leach-Bliley regulations, MicroShred is your answer for confidential shredding services.

    Contact Us Today!

    MicroShred, LLC
    19593 NE 10th Avenue
    Miami, FL 33179         

    Tel: 305-999-9234

  • Identity theft: Florida top state in country for identity theft complaints.

    Posted on June 26th, 2013 admin No comments

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – David Sanders is a victim of identity theft. He told us, “They had made a credit card with my number and name on it.” He says it didn’t take long for him to find out someone was using his identity and spending his money in another state. “I got an email that I had a charge from a Kohl’s in Dallas, Texas of all places, and I was right here in Delray Beach.”

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, South Florida is number one on the list for identity theft complaints, which includes Palm Beach County. Port Saint Lucie ranks number 7.

    Reggie Montgomery, a retired police officer, has advice on how to protect your identity.

    “Make sure that their wallet does not get out of their sight, number one.” He says don’t give out your date of birth or social security number to someone over the phone.

    “If you go into your doctor’s office, they don’t need your social security number. You see it on every form in every doctor’s office, they don’t need it. They have your insurance information,” said Montgomery.

    When you throw out personal information in the garbage, such as credit cards or canceled checks, shred them.

    He says the best shredder is the cross shredder, which makes the paper look like confetti.

    Montgomery says “And when you throw the shredding out, put liquid on it so that nobody is going to go through it and try to put it back together.”

    You can also protect yourself with the right mailbox. “Have a locking mailbox, make sure that nobody can get into your mailbox, that’s another way people get your information,” he said.

    (source)

  • South Florida ID thief who testified to U.S. Senate strikes again.

    Posted on June 26th, 2013 admin No comments

    After stealing the identities of several South Floridians — including a former owner of the New York Mets — Jeffrey Emil Groover made it seem like he was truly sorry for his crimes.

    He even testified to a U.S. Senate committee while he was serving a federal prison term in 2004 and offered some helpful suggestions to lawmakers about how to stop people like him from victimizing others.

    But on Thursday, Groover admitted that he again used other people’s identities to steal money by claiming the victims had signed over checks to him for pre-paid pest extermination and disinfection services.

    Groover, 52, who recently was listed at addresses in West Palm Beach and in Broward County, had no comment after the brief hearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines when he is sentenced in August.

    Records show he was released from federal prison in 2006 after serving a four-year term for credit card fraud that involved stealing the identities of several people, including Nelson Doubleday, the wealthy Jupiter Island resident who formerly co-owned the Mets.

    Groover went on a yearlong spending spree at the time on lines of credit he obtained under other people’s names. Doubleday tipped off authorities, and when they investigated further, they found Groover also had used Palm Beach philanthropist Donald Burns’ identity to buy a BMW, a Rolex watch and rare coins, according to court records.

    Groover also was ordered to pay more than $270,000 in restitution.

    While Groover was serving his prison term for those offenses, he addressed the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging in March 2004, telling senators that he had used the internet to obtain personal information about wealthy targets, open credit card accounts and even tap into his victims’ bank accounts.

    “I came here to assist my country, and in some small way to find redemption for what I’ve done,” Groover testified to the committee. “I lost my home, my business, my freedom and most of all my wife and children for what I did. The punishment is severe, and rest assured that I will not do it again. However, that will not stop other people from continuing to do this type of crime due to the ease in which it can be done.”

    He went on to outline his suggestions for curtailing such opportunities and apologized to his victims. He blamed the failure of a small internet service provider that he owned in the late 1990s for putting him in financial difficulty and said he resorted to fraud to keep his business going and support his family.

    Groover’s more recent crimes came to light when a check-processing service noticed and reported suspicious activity in a merchant account he opened in March 2012. According to court records, Groover had set up a West Palm Beach-based corporation called Affordable Pest Protection Inc., which IRS criminal investigators and federal prosecutors said “purported to be a provider of pest extermination and disinfection services.”

    Analysts at the check-processing service became suspicious of Groover’s transactions within days of him opening the account and they notified authorities. Groover had attempted to cash several U.S. Treasury tax refund checks, records show.

    When the company asked him to explain the activity, Groover told them he had met with each of the people named on the tax refund checks and they had agreed to turn the proceeds of those checks over to his business.

    “Groover further explained that he was trying to mimic automobile dealerships’ promotions by allowing clients to bring him their tax refund checks and apply the refund amounts to pre-paid pest control services,” agents wrote.

    When agents tracked down the people identified on the checks, they found that none of them had filed the income tax returns or authorized anyone to use their information.

    One of the victims was a man who had died in Broward County in April 2008, and other victims included an Oregon man and women from Tampa and Michigan, according to the criminal complaint.

    Groover pleaded guilty Thursday to four counts of making and presenting false claims to the IRS. He reached a plea agreement after learning prosecutors planned to file more charges, including several counts of aggravated identity theft, against him, according to court filings.

    Groover admitted he had targeted more than 10 victims and the intended loss was between $200,000 and $400,000, U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum said in court.

    (source)

  • Attacks on mail carriers have become more brazen, postal workers say.

    Posted on June 25th, 2013 admin No comments

    It’s not only the glaring sun and the threat of dog bites that South Florida’s mail carriers must contend with as they go door to door delivering the mail — sometimes they come under physical attack from the people who live along their delivery routes. From criminals intent on committing identity fraud to customers with poor anger management skills, letter carriers say they have noticed an increase in such attacks in recent years.

    “We have more brazen offenders approaching letter carriers and even threatening them or assaulting them,” said Ivan Ramirez, a U.S. Postal Inspector in Miramar. “A lot of people don’t realize that if you mess with a federal employee, then it’s a federal crime and you could do some serious prison time.”

    Among the cases prosecuted in federal court in recent years were a father and son from Oakland Park, Donald and Kevin Lincks, now 64 and 31, who were sentenced to a year in prison for beating a postal worker in June 2009 after he refused to give them their mail on the street because he didn’t know them.

    A Palm Beach County man, David Jason Agosto, 36, is serving 8 1/2 years in federal prison for assaulting a postal worker who he believed was flirting with his girlfriend while delivering mail at her workplace, the state Department of Children & Families in Lake Worth in 2008.

    And three men are serving lengthy federal prison terms for their roles in the December 2010 murder of postal worker Bruce Parton, 60, of Pembroke Pines, who was shot while being robbed of a master key in north Miami-Dade.

    The U.S. Postal Service said it does not keep statistics on such crimes, but trains workers on how to stay safe and pursues criminal charges against offenders.

    Assaulting postal employees can have serious consequences — it is a federal crime that is prosecuted under the same law as assaulting an FBI agent. Attacking a federal employee while they’re carrying out their duties carries punishments that range from one to 20 years in prison.

    Ramirez said the downturn in the economy and the prevalence of identity thieves, who sometimes target letter carriers because they want to rob master keys that open community mailboxes, have coincided with more attacks on carriers.

    Court records show that at least seven people have faced federal prosecution for assaulting and injuring letter carriers in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties since 2008. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story, officials said, because assailants are also prosecuted for related crimes, like fraud or robbery, and can also face state charges.

    In federal court in West Palm Beach last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon praised prosecutors for their evenhanded approach to a complicated case involving a mentally ill woman who investigators said attacked a letter carrier delivering mail in Lantana in September.

    Mailman Bruce Tabano, 60, suffered a concussion, chipped tooth and facial cuts when Donna Rose Angelo, 49, attacked him at his work truck near North Ridge Drive and Flamingo Drive, according to the complaint.

    Tabano told investigators Angelo told him to give her the mail, punched him in the face, then came at him again in an aggressive manner.

    “The carrier then reached for his dog spray and heard the woman say ‘If you spray me, I’ll f—ing kill you, I’m crazy,'” postal inspectors wrote.

    Angelo, who has a history of violent disturbances, told police that she did not understand when they read her legal rights to her, tried to run off and said she didn’t mean to hit the mailman, investigators said.

    Her diagnosis was not made public, but her lawyer said Angelo would pursue an insanity defense if formal charges are filed. Experts said she is mentally incompetent and she has spent the past few months being treated in a federal medical prison in Texas.

    Prosecutor John McMillan told the judge Wednesday that efforts to restore her to competency have failed. Brannon ordered that she be assessed to see if she poses a danger to the community before deciding what to do next.

    “These are not easy cases, these are not easy issues,” Brannon said, adding that he felt prosecutors were looking out for the best interests of the victim, suspect and community.

    Mike Gill, the president of Branch 1071 of the National Association of Letter Carriers which represents workers in Miami-Dade, southern Palm Beach and most of Broward, said his members have reported an increase in assaults, though not a dramatic one. Gill said he thinks some of it is linked to the rise in identity theft.

    “It’s definitely been more of an issue in recent years and we warn our members that if something doesn’t feel right, they should get out of the area and involve their supervisor and the police,” he said.

    Just as mail carriers look out for their customers, alerting authorities when they notice something suspicious, Gill said he hopes people in the community look out for the safety of postal service employees. “Letter carriers are out there six days a week, and we try to be the eyes and ears for the community.”

    Ramirez, the postal inspector who investigates crimes, said the postal service has increased its investigative efforts in recent years and introduced programs to make sure employees are looking out for their personal safety.

    Debbie Fetterly, a U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman in South Florida, said employee safety is a priority.

    “USPS always tells employees that they are our most valuable resource and that we want to deliver them home safely each day,” Fetterly said. Safeguards include special training and awareness programs as well as having a threat assessment team that evaluates and takes action on serious threats made to employees, she said.

    (source)

  • The Navigator: Ways To Thwart ID Theft

    Posted on May 3rd, 2013 admin No comments

    At some point between the time she disembarked from a recent cruise in Miami and returned to Carmel, Ind., someone decided to go shopping with Jody Tzucker’s credit card. “They bought cigars and other odd things in Miami,” says Tzucker, a retired manager for a nonprofit association.

    She suspects that the criminals may have skimmed her Visa account information while she was filling up her gas tank in South Florida. Or maybe not. Nowadays, hackers don’t even have to see your credit card to access the information on it. They can scan it from a safe distance.

    One of the latest threats against travelers is invisible and silent: wireless attacks that siphon your credit card number, personal information and passwords. Anything with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip, including your passport or a credit card, can be read from afar. Thieves can also mine valuable data from your smartphone when it automatically logs on to a WiFi network.

    Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to thwart these wireless assaults, including new luggage products and common-sense steps that protect your devices and credit cards.

    As it turned out, Tzucker’s card didn’t have an RFID chip. And she was lucky. Before the cigar-loving thieves could finish their shopping excursion, her bank’s fraud detection algorithm tagged her purchases as suspicious, disabled her account and refunded the fraudulent transactions. And that may be one of the most effective solutions — having a bank that can stop fraud quickly and cover any losses. After the incident, Tzucker also switched to using a prepaid debit card when she traveled, which contains no personal information.

    But others haven’t been so fortunate. Nearly half of all travelers use their smartphones to access the Internet when they’re on vacation, according to a recent survey by security firm Kaspersky Lab. One-third of phone users store their passwords to online accounts, including bank and social networks, on their devices. While any phone can be a target, the most vulnerable wireless devices run on the Android operating system, according to Kaspersky.

    The luggage industry offers one possible solution: new backpacks and suitcases with protective linings to shield your IDs and wireless devices.

    This month, luggage manufacturer Briggs & Riley, based in Hauppage, N.Y., will add RFID-blocking pockets to its new @work briefcase and bag collection. The models offer two pockets with electromagnetic shielding, one for IDs and passports, the other for a smartphone or a tablet computer. The black ballistic nylon cases, priced from $129 to $479, are designed to appeal to privacy-conscious business travelers.

    Richard Krulik, Briggs & Riley’s chief executive, says that his company is constantly adapting to the concerns and demands of travelers, something he refers to as “reality engineering.”

    “Increasingly, travelers are coming to rely on their luggage to keep more than their belongings safe,” he adds. “They need protection for their personal information and data.”

    Escape the Wolf, a travel security company based in Virginia Beach, is also introducing a product this month, aimed at leisure travelers and called the Zero Trace Two-Day Backpack. It offers a large interior compartment to store any electronics you want to protect from prying eyes or scans. The $199 backpack, which will be part of Escape the Wolf’s line of security-enhancing luggage, is minimalist on the outside but sophisticated on the inside for a reason, says Clinton Emerson, the company’s chief executive.

    “Fancy gets you mugged,” he says. “Fancy gets stolen.”

    A closer look at this technology suggests that the best strategy for preventing data theft when you’re on the road is a combination of electromagnetic shields and common sense. A series of tests conducted in 2011 by Consumer Reports concludes that products with electronic shielding can partially block the signal from a chip in a credit card.

    Only credit cards with RFID chips — so-called “chip and signature” or “chip and PIN” cards — are vulnerable to scans. Most credit cards in the United States don’t use this technology at present, although it’s gaining some traction, particularly among corporate travelers.

    Wireless devices left in the pouches would run down the battery searching for a signal, and security experts say that an equally effective way to prevent someone from accessing them is to power down the device and remove the battery. However, that’s not an option with the most popular wireless devices, such as Apple’s iPhone and iPad, which don’t have an easily removable battery.

    Experts say that making sure the WiFi settings on your smartphone or tablet are set so that they don’t automatically connect to any wireless network, and not storing passwords or credit card numbers on your phone, is an equally effective way to make sure hackers don’t access your data and steal your identity, or your money.

    But luggage with electromagnetic shielding can’t hurt, either. It makes your information a less desirable mark. Hackers and ID thieves prefer easy targets, which come from unprotected wireless devices and credit cards emitting a clear, easy-to-intercept signal.

    In a world of invisible and often unknown security threats, the new bags may make travelers such as Linda Snow feel a little safer. Snow, an actress who lives in Denver, says that many of her friends have had their identities stolen, some of them while traveling. “I’m more careful with how I handle my ID and phone,” she says. Now she’s thinking of upgrading her luggage, too.

    (source)

  • Three South Floridians latest arrested in ‘felony lane gang’ car burglaries.

    Posted on May 1st, 2013 admin No comments

    Authorities in Central Florida suspect three Broward County men of being part of an infamous “felony lane gang,” one or more groups of South Floridians who travel far from home to commit car burglaries, bank fraud and identity thefts.

    Ench Smith, 33, and Guercy Smith, 26, both of Pompano Beach, and Traver Paul, 19, of Fort Lauderdale, are among the latest suspects accused of such schemes across Florida and the rest of the country.

    The trio was more than 220 miles north of Broward on Tuesday, when police in Casselberry arrested them each on charges of burglary, criminal mischief and petty theft. Patrons at an LA Fitness in Casselberry, northeast of Orlando, reported their vehicles were burglarized, and police said they caught the suspects as they drove away.

    The men were in a rental car, and their actions were similar to those committed by other suspected felony lane gang members, Casselberry Police Capt. David Del Rosso said. Police said they are not sure if the men are members of an elaborate crime ring or merely a group of petty criminals who adopted the scheme for a quick and easy score.

    “It could be something they learned to do in jail, or they are a spinoff of other groups,” Del Rosso said. “Bottom line is they were doing the same type of crimes associated with a felony lane gang.”

    Even though “felony lane gang” suggests one group, it actually is more than one ring of thieves carrying out such crimes, officials said. While gang cells may not be working together, their schemes usually take on similar patterns.

    In most cases, those arrested have South Florida addresses and travel in rental cars. They target cars parked at state parks, day care centers, gyms, supermarkets and cemeteries. Their loot usually includes wallets or purses containing credit and debit cards and checkbooks.

    The thieves later drive to the victims’ banks to cash stolen checks, often wearing wigs and sunglasses for disguises. They often use the farthest drive-through teller lanes to avoid surveillance cameras. Thus the term “felony lane.”

    In Broward, Ench Smith has primarily dealt with traffic offenses. His short prior criminal history excludes any arrests consistent with being part of a large-scale organized crime group, records show.

    His alleged accomplices have a more serious criminal history, records show.

    Since 2008, Guercy Smith has pleaded no-contest and been sentenced to probation on several charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and drug possession, state records show.

    Paul was most recently arrested in Miami-Dade County on March 22 on charges of fleeing police and reckless driving. He is awaiting trial in that case. Since 2008, he has pleaded no-contest and been sentenced to probation on several offenses, including firing a gun into an occupied dwelling and battery.

    Authorities say those involved in felony lane-type crimes have distinct roles, and the crimes often are aimed at stealing victims’ identities. Some act as organizers and recruit other members, some conduct robberies to obtain identification documents, and others go to banks to cash fraudulent checks.

    In recent months, federal officials say they have made some progress in cracking down on felony lane suspects from South Florida.

    In December, a grand jury in Pennsylvania returned a four-count indictment, charging 10 people with conspiracy to commit fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. With the exception of a Texas woman, all the alleged group members reportedly were from Broward.

    In that case, federal officials said group members committed crimes in Pennsylvania from August to October 2012. During that time, they allegedly broke into numerous vehicles and stole the identities of more than 100 people.

    The “smash and grabs” occurred at about 25 state parks and recreation centers in and around the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

    Heidi Havens, a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania, said the cases are expected to go to trial next month.

    (source)

  • South Florida women get long sentences for ID theft.

    Posted on May 1st, 2013 admin No comments

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Two South Florida women have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for identity theft and tax fraud involving some 2,000 false income tax returns.

    U.S. District Judge James Cohn in Fort Lauderdale sentenced 36-year-old Alci Bonannee on Thursday to more than 26 years behind bars. The judge sentenced 40-year-old Sonyini Clay to 10 years in prison. Bonannee was convicted in January of several charges and Clay pleaded guilty.

    Prosecutors say the scheme operated from December 2010 to 2012 and involved returns submitted to the Internal Revenue Service seeking refunds of about $11 million. Of that, the IRS paid out about $3.5 million.

    Trial testimony showed most of the stolen IDs came from a hospital nurse.

    A third woman was sentenced in March to more than three years in prison.

    (source) 

  • New laws urged to cut ‘epidemic’ of ID theft.

    Posted on April 16th, 2013 admin No comments

    As South Floridians rushed to file their taxes on Monday, congressional lawmakers said they would push for tougher laws to help cut down on what law enforcement officials continue to call an “epidemic” of tax-related theft in the region. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, said she will reintroduce legislation to enact tougher penalties against identity thieves.

    Read the full article at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-id-theft-law-20130415,0,5030102.story

  • Lawmakers renew push for legislation to prevent $5 billion tax ID fraud.

    Posted on April 16th, 2013 admin No comments

    Tax Day is no longer just a deadline for citizens to rush and file their returns. It’s now a day for members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike —to file legislation or announce ways to prevent an estimated $5 billion in tax-identification fraud, which is particularly virulent in Florida and especially South Florida.

    The effort by local lawmakers is nothing new, nor is the fact that the measures have died year-after-year in a do-nothing Congress.

    On Monday, Miami-area Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Garcia and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen all promoted legislation to put an end to the practice. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson announced a bill last week.

    “Something needs to be done,” said Jon Simpkins, a Miami-Dade businessman who appeared with his wife, a tax-ID fraud victim, at Garcia’s press conference.

    It took the Internal Revenue Service until April 8 to supply the family their tax-refund money from last year — a week before this year’s tax-filing deadline.

    “I’m surprised they haven’t fixed this yet,” Simpkins said, detailing the delays and difficulties of just getting the IRS to do its job.

    But the delay in fixing the growing problem isn’t just a window into the problems with the IRS. It’s an example of a broken Congress that struggles to accomplish the most-basic of tasks — including an issue members of all parties agree on: Stopping fraud.

    Last year, for instance, Sen. Nelson’s crackdown bill stalled and died in the Senate because leadership said it didn’t want to deal with any new tax issues or tax reform — except for figuring out what to do with the then-expiring payroll tax cuts and the so-called Bush tax cuts.

    So even though Nelson’s bill was more of a fraud-fighting proposal, it was considered tax legislation. And it was bottled up by the advent of the so-called “fiscal cliff” and budget-sequester negotiations. The bill could face another challenge this year: the banking-and-credit industry.

    Nelson wants to make it tougher for thieves to get tax refunds electronically direct-deposited on prepaid debit cards. The cards have become increasingly common ways for regular citizens to get their returns credited to a bank account electronically. But, because the cards can be purchased by phone or internet and leave few fingerprints, scammers use them as well.

    Tax ID fraud is simple and lucrative. Thieves purchase Social Security numbers and names of people on the black market. Then they download tax forms electronically, plug in the stolen information and file false returns. They request refunds be sent to prepaid cards or, less often, by check.

    The scam is usually pulled in January and February. Most citizens file weeks or months later. If someone used their information on a tax form, the IRS then refuses to instantly pay the citizen as it did the scammer. Victims then wait for months or, in Simpkin’s case, almost a year for their refund.

    Broward Sheriff Detective Mitch Gordon warned that cracking down on debit cards won’t stop the crime entirely. But he said the cards are a good way to steal.

    “One time, we had one guy who sat at a Western Union machine for six hours just putting in debit cards, putting in debit cards,” said Gordon, who estimated the office has had 400 complaints this year.

    The Miami area is the top tax-related identity theft area in the nation, and Florida has nine of the top 10 cities for the fraud.

    South Florida accounted for 35,914 identity-theft complaints in 2012.

    “It has happened to so many people,” said Rep. Garcia. “It happened to me.”

    Garcia’s bill isn’t as sweeping as Nelson’s. It would change the law to forbid the printing of a person’s entire Social Security Number on a W-2 tax form, a major primary source for thieves who obtained them from unscrupulous employees or employers.

    Wasserman-Schultz, a Democrat like Garcia, wants to increase penalties and make federal prosecutors prioritize tax ID cases.

    Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican, is co-sponsoring both bills.

    “These bills focus much needed attention to identity theft, a problem that is clearly not a victimless crime,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

    Another Republican Rep., Mario Diaz-Balart, hasn’t studied the legislation but has held IRS officials to account in budget hearings. He tacked on an amendment to a budget bill that requires the agency to better track tax ID theft cases.

    With such bipartisan support for such an important topic, Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, said she hopes something will pass. “It seems like a no-brainer,” she said.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/15/3346174/lawmakers-renew-push-for-legislation.html