Hacker is stealing the identities of victims, Surfside mayor says

Hacker is stealing the identities of victims, Surfside mayor says
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Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said Friday that a hacker is stealing the identities of victims who died in the condominium collapse in his city. 

According to WPLG Local 10, which first reported the news, officials say that the hacker stole the identities of people after he saw their names appear in news reports on the collapse.

Burkett said in an interview with WPLG Local 10 that police were actively investigating.


“It’s terrible,” Burkett told the news outlet. “I can’t wait to put a face to these deeds right now, and I think all of South Florida is eager to see who would do something like this – what kind of person would do something like this. But I’m looking forward to our police department apprehending them, and they are out there looking. I wouldn’t want to be that person right now.”

Burkett confirmed to The Hill that at least one victim has been targeted in the identity theft and said that officials have reached out to the families of victims who may be targeted.

The mayor first confirmed to Insider that a victim had been targeted and asked victims' families to reach out to Social Security offices and check their credit. 

"We want everyone to take steps to lock their credit down," the mayor told Insider, adding, "We're going to track down the people responsible for this and we're going arrest them and make an example of them."

It’s unclear how many people are involved or the number of victims who have been targeted.

The mayor declined to provide information to either news outlet on how the identities of the victims were able to be stolen. 

Sgt. Marian Cruz of the Surfside Police Department told The Hill in a statement that police were in the early stages of the investigation and would not be releasing additional details yet "in order to protect the integrity of the case and prevent further victimization."

Updated 6:43 p.m.