Consumer Corner—Press Release from CFO Jimmy Patronis

Along with many in the media, Editors of the Dry Log received a very helpful press release regarding National Crime Prevention month from Florida CFO, Jimmy Patronis. His October release regards some basics for spotting scams.

In many cases it’s common sense, but...consistency of execution makes all the difference.

Learn to Spot Scams

In recognition of National Crime Prevention Month, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is reminding Floridians about important ways to identify scams to avoid becoming a victim. So far this year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reported more than 83,000 fraud complaints in Florida and nearly $143 million in fraud losses.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Since January, the FTC has reported more than 83,000 fraud complaints in Florida, with more than 31,000 related to imposter scams. Floridians must be on the lookout for fraud and scams, and the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to stay informed of new scam tactics. While technology has improved our daily lives, it’s being used every day by scam artists to develop creative new ways to steal your money. I encourage all Floridians to visit FraudFreeFlorida.com to learn about the latest tricks used by criminals. Stay on guard and learn how to spot scams before it’s too late.”

Tips from the Federal Trade Commission on Avoiding Scams:

• Block unwanted calls and text messages. Take steps to block unwanted calls and to filter unwanted text messages.

• Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. Legitimate organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.

• Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.

• Know how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.

• Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.

For information contact: [email protected], 850.413.2842

About CFO Jimmy Patronis-- Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).