Drug raid at Seffner home leads to ID theft concern

Seffner, Florida -- Neighbors describe the home at 6221 Williams Road in Seffner as a drug house. Closed circuit cameras. An electrified fence. Cars constantly coming and going. In fact, even as we were speaking with neighbor Marcos Malave, a car came, took one look at the house's now-locked fence, and -- right in the middle of traffic -- turned around and drove away.

"I wondered what was going on over there," said Malave. "I saw the cops going in and out."

What Malave saw on Wednesday was the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office and DEA agents raiding the nuisance home, arresting 43-year-old Gregory Smith, a 15-time convicted felon. Inside, they found cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and guns.

But what bothers neighbors the most, even more than the drugs, was a ledger with at least 75 names in it. The book contained personal, financial information. And a 'how to' guide on how to steal people's identities.

"That is going to be turned over to the identity theft task force and, hopefully, be able to get in touch with these individuals and find out if they've been a victim of fraud," said Debbie Carter, spokesperson with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Neighbors are worried now, their names may be among Smith's phony W2 forms, social security cards, driver's licenses, and debit cards.

"Did they come by and check our mail?" asked neighbor Kara Montgomery, "put our name on the list?"

Montgomery and others are planning to check their credit reports. A good idea for anyone these days, say investigators. Especially with ID theft running rampant.

For a cost-free check of your credit, experts recommend a couple of sites: Annualcreditreport.com can be accessed online as well as by mail. They offer a free report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year. You can also learn valuable information about your credit by visiting creditguru.com/CreditT.shtml.


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