Combating IDENTITY THEFT in SW Florida

Carrie Kerske

Established in 2015, Hodges University’s Identity Fraud Institute is aimed to become a central repository of identity theft, fraud and data privacy statistics throughout Florida. To accomplish its mission of Learn, Share, Collaborate, the institute provides educational opportunities for the community and professionals in Lee and Collier counties via community lectures, seminars, workshops and corporate training.

Carrie Kerskie, who serves as the institute’s director has generated a list of events for businesses and individuals to attend, which will encompass topics ranging from developing a data breach response plan to social media dos and don’ts to medical identity theft.

Upcoming Identity Fraud Institute events include:

March 8 (Naples campus) and March 22 (Fort Myers campus) from 3-4 p.m. When someone uses your identity for medical services, that person’s symptoms and diagnosis could become part of your medical file. In this workshop, you will learn how to recognize the warning signs as well as what steps to take when you become a victim.
• Cost to attend: $25
• Register online at
Data breaches and identity theft are among the most common security risks for businesses today. The average cost to mitigate a data breach is $4 million or $158 per compromised record. In addition, businesses are losing the trust of their customers whose personal information has been compromised. Organization owners and managers are responsible for the privacy of sensitive information. It is more important than ever for business owners, HR practitioners and those in finance, security and IT to understand how to prevent breaches and what to do when one occurs. Industry-based continuing education credits may be available.
  •  For Legal Professionals – March 24 (This course has been approved for six CLE credits from the Florida Bar Association.)
  • For Small Business and Nonprofits – April 7
  • For Accounting Professionals – May 5
  • For Healthcare Professionals – May 19
All workshops are held on Hodges’ Naples campus from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The cost to attend is $345 or $295 for nonprofit and government employees Register online
In this non-credit program, you will learn the relationship between the types of identity theft and the methods used by identity thieves. You will learn the process to restore an identity as well as methods to reduce the risk of future incidents. This program will provide you with the skills necessary for this emerging field. Industry-based continuing education credits may be available.
  • For Legal Professionals – March 30 and 31 (This course has been approved for 12.5 CLE credits from the Florida Bar Association.) Register online at restoration_legal
  • For Individuals and Professionals – April 20 and 21 Register online at restoration
  • For Accounting Professionals – April 27 and 28 Register online at restoration_ accounting
  • All workshops are held on Hodges’ Naples campus from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The cost to attend is $675 or $540 for nonprofit and government employees.
April 5 (Naples) and April 19 (Fort Myers) from 3-4 p.m.
You will learn how to manage the privacy settings on your smartphone, which protect you and your sensitive information. For example, you
will learn how to manage the location settings on your smartphone so others are unable to track your movements. Make sure you bring your device so you can adjust your settings during this hands-on workshop.
  • •Cost to attend: $25
  • Register online at
May 10 (Naples) and May 17 (Fort Myers) from 3-4 p.m.
In this one hour workshop, you will learn how to set up privacy settings, how to recognize red flags and learn what steps to take in the event your account is compromised.
  • Cost to attend: $25
  • Register online at
The locations for events hosted by Hodges University’s Identity Fraud Institute are the Naples campus, which is located at 2655 Northbrooke Drive, Naples, FL 34119, and the Fort Myers campus, which is located at 4501 Colonial Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL 33966.
Advanced registration is required for all Hodges IFI events. For more information about Hodges University’s Identity Fraud Institute, visit You may also contact Carrie Kerskie at or 239.598.6281.
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