CFO Launches On Guard for Seniors
Urging Floridians to participate in Consumer Protection Week, which continues
through Saturday, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater launched On
Guard for Seniors, a new website intended to educate senior consumers about
financial and insurance issues impacting our state’s fastest-growing population.
“Through my years in the financial community and as an elected
representative, I’ve learned that more often than not it is our seniors who are
most vulnerable to financial fraud,” CFO Atwater said. “Seniors are inundated
with offers of financial stability while being exposed to fraud artists
targeting their life savings. Together we can all help ensure our seniors have
the tools and resources to make informed financial decisions that best suit
their needs both today and for the future.”
www.MyFloridaCFO.com/OnGuard, includes information about annuities, reverse
mortgages, long-term care insurance and identity theft.
Warning about Unclaimed Property Scam
CFO Atwater is warning consumers of an emerging scam related to the
retrieval of unclaimed property. A company calling themselves The Florida
Department of Financial Restitution has been contacting consumers claiming
to be on contract with CFO Atwater’s Department of Financial Services and
offering to reunite them with unclaimed property for an upfront fee of $600.
There is no legal entity named The Florida Department of Financial
“These scam artists are trying to defraud consumers out of their hard-earned
dollars by using deceitful practices and peddling a service that my department
offers free of charge,” CFO Atwater said. “Consumers who are contacted by this
fraudulent company should not agree to this offer, sign a contract or send any
money to the Florida Department of Financial Restitution.”
Consumers who are contacted by this fraudulent company are encouraged to
contact the department’s Division of Consumer Services by calling
1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236) to report the scam.
Currently, the Chief Financial Officer holds unclaimed property accounts
valued at more than $1 billion. Consumers can search for unclaimed property by
accessing the department’s website at
FLTreasureHunt.org or calling (888) 258-2253 or (850) 413-5555.
Arrests in Tampa for PIP Fraud
Chief Financial Officer Atwater announced the arrests of Tampa clinic
employees on charges of insurance fraud and patient brokering stemming
from a personal injury protection (PIP) fraud scheme. These arrests come
just one day after three clinic employees were arrested on the same
charges at a separate clinic in Tampa.
“Florida’s consumer can not bear the burden of a
billion-dollar-a-year fraud tax any longer,” CFO Atwater said.
This case is part of a continuing crackdown by CFO Atwater’s Division
of Insurance Fraud in the fight against auto insurance fraud in Florida.
Under CFO Atwater’s leadership, the Division has arrested 475
individuals for PIP fraud, a more than 40 percent increase from 2010.
Anyone with information regarding suspected insurance fraud is asked to
call 1-800-378-0445. Individuals who provide tips can remain anonymous
and are eligible for a reward of up to $25,000 for information that
directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.
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Man Charged with Arson, Insurance Fraud
CFO and State Fire Marshal Atwater announced the arrest of
of Jacksonville after a joint investigation involving the Division of
State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations ,
Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office,
the Division of Insurance Fraud and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms determined that Koepke set fire to five vehicles and an
apartment building hoping to collect insurance money on the damage to
the contents of his apartment from the fire.
“This man intentionally endangered the lives of others in an attempt
for personal gain through insurance fraud,” CFO Atwater said. “Anyone
who attempts any form of arson will be put behind bars. I’m proud of the
work done by my office and Jacksonville fire and law enforcement
professionals to bring these individuals to justice.”
To report arson, call 1-877-No-Arson (1-877-662-7766). A reward of up
to $5,000 may be paid for a tip that leads directly to an arrest and