Identity theft hadn’t really been a worry for the Society of St. Vincent De Paul in St. Petersburg.
The Catholic charity provides shelter and serves food for the area’s needy, feeding between 600 and 900 homeless people a day.
Federal regulations require keeping records on clients, including their Social Security numbers and dates of birth. That data is shared among local social service providers, in part to prevent fraud.
But when a homeless man who had eaten a meal at one of the St. Vincent De Paul facilities learned he had been the victim of tax fraud identity theft, alarm bells sounded, said Michael Raposa, executive director.
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