ID Theft

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There are thousands of open identity theft cases just in North Florida alone, and it doesn't look like there will be any relief in sight.

Fraud investigators say they have what you can call job security. If anything, people in their line of work are a hot commodity.

"When I started doing financial crimes as a detective, we were a two-man unit and now we're up to six people now as of today."

Leon County Sheriff's Office investigators are working on well over 600 ID theft cases. By year's end, they expect to surpass last year's case load of 791.

There's no break at the Tallahassee Police Department either. Its eight fraud investigators work between 40 to fifty cases, most dealing with check and credit card fraud.

"It can be prevented in some cases, provided you take some measures and be aware of certain things, some of the tactics that some of the people do."

Sgt. Bierbaum says you should be protective over your personal information. Don't give it out unless you contact the company first. Don't give out your Social Security number. They say the Internet is making it easier than ever for ID thieves to take advantage, and making their jobs busier than ever.

Both fraud investigators we spoke to say the best thing you can do to protect yourself is check your credit report at least once a year. That is free for Florida residents. Even better, they say check it every six months.

The fraud investigators agree that there is no sure way of preventing identity theft, but you can make yourself a little less accessible to thieves by being protective over your personal information.