Hackers steal Surfside collapse victims’ identity for profit, mayor says

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FILE – In this Tuesday, July 6, 2021, file photo, a memorial for the Guara family is posted on a fence near the Champlain Towers South, in Surfside, Fla. Recovery crews at the Florida condominium collapse are cataloging all personal possessions found in the rubble in hopes of returning them to families of the dead or survivors. (Carl Juste/Miami Herald via AP, File)

MIAMI (WFLA) — The mayor of Surfside said that victims in the Champlain Towers collapse are being targeted in identity theft schemes.

Mayor Charles Burkett said the hackers are using the names being released by authorities as they identify more victims. From there, they gather enough information to create fake identity profiles.

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“We’ve had to have discussions with the families and listen to them telling us the stories about all of a sudden credit cards appearing in their names and things being purchased in their name, so we’ve told ‘em, you’ve got to immediately shut down your credit,” Burkett told a local news outlet.

The mayor said more than one family has been impacted by these identity thieves. No arrests have been made, but investigations are in progress.

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