Crime

Protecting Your Child's Identity From ID Thieves

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- John Owen knows what it feels like to be a victim of identity theft. It happened 14 years ago.

"It was no fund, no fun at all," said Owen.

He is now more vigilant and protective of his name. "I keep up with my wife and my children," he said. "People forget about the kids, they try to get the kids because nobody even checks the kids."

Tyler Wildman, CEO of Identity Theft Countermeasures group, has made it his job to check. For the past four years, Wildman's specialty has been training businesses like schools and doctors' offices on ways to protect their clients' information, especially children.

"Sixty-eight percent of identities that are stolen today are physically stolen out of companies," said Wildman.

In an assessment at the Broach School, Orange Park Campus, he was able to point out weaknesses that could lead to a child's identity being stolen.

Car Dealership Employees Stop Armed Robbery Suspect

Car Dealership Employees Stop Armed Robbery Suspect

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An armed robbery suspect was taken to jail Thursday thanks to daring employees at a Westside car dealership.
    
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Joy Howell robbed a Cash Advance on Cassat Avenue then ran into the Mike Shad Nissan parking lot.
    
When employees tried to stop her, police said she fired her gun in the air.
    
No one was hit.
    
Howell then jumped on a golf cart with an employee, officers alleged.  That employee jumped off and police said he pinned her against a wall and held her there until police came.

Massage Business Owner has Battery Charges Upgraded

Massage Business Owner has Battery Charges Upgraded

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. -- Charges have been upgraded against a First Coast salon owner who already was accused of simple battery on a woman during a massage at the Bamboo Garden Salon.

According to Clay County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Mary Justino, charges against Armando Dibenedetto, 51, have been upgraded from simple battery when he was arrested April 25, to attempted sexual battery, a felony.

Have You Been E-Pickpocketed - Without Even Knowing it?

Have You Been E-Pickpocketed - Without Even Knowing it?

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It can happen anywhere. In an urban shopping center like the Jacksonville Landing or a sporting event like a baseball game.

"Is this a good thing or a bad thing? " ask one cardholder.

Bad - it can happen right under your nose.

New technology used in smart cards, speed passes and newly issued passports make it easier for a pickpocket to steal your card information.

It is called electronic pick pocketing. Walt Augustinowicz, a former insurance executive, has the ability to walk through a crowd and pickpocket credit card information.

"The biggest vulnerability is the fact that they don't know," said Augustinowicz.

Spotting an Impostor: Scammers Pose as Friends, Family and Government Agencies

It’s easy to think “It couldn’t happen to me.” But scammers know how to get around our better judgment. They play on our emotions or promise big payoffs to get us to act. And many use the names of government agencies like the FTC, trusted companies, or friends and family to get us to buy into their schemes. We may not be able to spot the impostor until it’s too late.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know that scammers are posing as people, agencies and companies you know and trust. They may use phone calls, emails, letters, faxes or even text messages in their deceptions. To see past the disguise, you need to be alert to signs of an impostor scam:

DCF Calls Out Fake Food Stamp Website

DCF Calls Out Fake Food Stamp Website

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Division of Children and Families is calling a website that purports to help people apply for food stamps online a scam.

According to spokesperson John Harrell, getfoodstampsnow.org is not a place for people to turn to online as a means to get food stamps.

In fact, Harrell said the DCF website, http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/, is the only legitimate way for those who need assistance to get it.

"The problem and the danger is that they could be giving their personal information to people who could be scamming them out of money. This is of great concern to us at DCF because there's a lot of people who are suffering at this time economically. And there are websites that are taking money from people who don't have much to begin with," Harrell said.

Energy Survey Solicitation Calls and Complaints

In recent weeks, many calls have been made to residents in the Northeast Florida area in regards to a “free energy survey” on behalf of USA Utility Experts. Residents describe the calls as harassing in nature and called the CCSO to complain. Our agency wants to increase public awareness about the “do not call list” and consumer rights in general.