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Florida identity theft on the rise

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Updated: 4/24/2013 7:45 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Thomas Divita has worked for the State Attorney's office for 15 years, but even he couldn't escape the rising problem of local identity theft.

"They're using my number to live their lives," he said.

Divita carries around what he calls his ID theft bible everywhere he goes. It's an encyclopedia of 11 people who have stolen his identity to get everything from mortgage and loan approvals. After years of investigations, he still hasn't been able to bring a single thief to justice.

"It's the folder of my 11 closest enemies," he said. "I've got a police report for every city I've ever found my Social Security number used in. I got credit reports and brochures from the FTC."

Divita is not alone at a summit hosted by the FDLE on Wednesday, Florida was dubbed a hub for identity theft.

Action News has learned in 2011, 113 crackdowns were made on identity theft. That number more than quadrupled in 2012, where 522 crackdowns were made.

Divita hopes his story can be a lesson to others. He says nobody is safe and recommends checking your credit reports regularly. The sooner you catch a thief, the easier it is to recover.

"The less time that you've been a victim, I think the easier it is to kind of put the fire out."

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