Cocoa Police Investigate Possible Scam Involving Identity Theft Through Voter Registration
By Space Coast Daily // August 16, 2018
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – Cocoa Police officers are currently working with the State Attorney’s Office and the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office in what appears to be a scam involving attempts to collect personal information under the guise of a voter registration drive.
On Thursday, at approximately 10:45 a.m., Officer Mike Cavalieri was conducting proactive patrols in the area of Prospect Park, 104 Prospect Avenue.
Officer Cavalieri approached a group of suspicious individuals who appeared to be smoking marijuana.
Further investigation revealed two males and two females were at the park approaching citizens to collect personal information for what they claimed was a voter registration drive. The individuals claimed to be working for the elections office and said they were collecting information for voter registration applications.
A check with the Supervisor of Elections Office verified there was no voter collection drive at the park. In addition, third party groups who solicit voter applications must be registered with the Florida Department of State. There was no information presented that indicated the persons were part of a registered third party organization collecting voter applications.
The investigation is being forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for potential criminal charges involving violation of Florida election code by unlawfully soliciting voter registrations for compensation.
This is a second degree felony punishable by a maximum 15 years in prison if convicted.
“We need people to be mindful of who they are giving their personal information to,” said Sgt. Dabner Roman. “In this case it is always best to verify before providing information that could allow someone to easily steal your identity.”
“When my office holds a voter registration drive, my staff is easily identifiable by their name tags and official logos on our table and other accessories,” said Lori Scott, Brevard County Supervisor of Elections.
“Almost every election I am contacted by citizens who gave their registration information to someone only to find out their application never reached my office for processing. As identify theft crimes continue to increase, I encourage voters to be vigilant about who they give their personal information to for their own safety.”
Voters are encouraged to contact the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections office with any questions or concerns by calling 321-633-2124.
If approached by someone who isn’t easily identifiable as an employee of the Supervisor of Elections office, citizens should verify they are a valid third-party voter organization before giving their personal information.
Florida allows for third-party voter registration organizations to collect voter registration applications but are required to turn them into the Supervisor of Elections within 5 days.
To find a database of registered third party organizations, visit the Department of State’s website here
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