Dear Fellow Floridians:
This week, I announced a new series of Operation S.A.F.E. financial workshops
to help inform, empower and protect Florida’s seniors from financial scams and
fraud. Florida's seniors work their whole lives to save and build a nest egg for
their families, and I want to make sure their finances are protected from anyone
who might target them.
show that nearly one in five seniors has fallen victim to financial fraud. In
order to combat this deceptive crime against seniors, I launched the statewide
financial education initiative known as Operation S.A.F.E. to "Stop Adult
Financial Exploitation" and the fraudsters who target Florida's seniors.
Our Operation S.A.F.E. 'Be Scam Smart' workshops and its accompanying website
www.MyFloridaCFO.com/SAFE have already helped nearly 11,000 seniors
protect themselves from becoming victims of financial fraud. Our workshops
provide valuable resources and information such as:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
- Never sign incomplete or blank documents.
- Know that it is a red flag if you are notified of winning a
lottery for which you never submitted an entry, or are asked to pay money to
collect any prize.
- Always make sure you are dealing with a licensed insurance
agent and verify before you buy.
- Never send money to a company without full proof of their
legitimacy. Check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that the dealer is
- Do not give out personal financial information by email or
over the phone unless you initiated the contact.
Be Scam Smart workshops are open to seniors, family members and their
caregivers. I encourage everyone to sign up for a workshop near you to learn how
to protect your families' finances. Upcoming dates, times and locations of
Operation S.A.F.E. workshops include the following:
- Thursday, June 19 in Port St. Lucie
at the Port St. Lucie Community Center from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
2195 S.E. Arioso Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, FL 34984
- Friday, June 20 in Sebastian
at the N. Indian River County Library from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
1001 Sebastian Boulevard, Sebastian, FL 32958
- Tuesday, August 5 in Greenacres
Greenacres Branch Library from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
3750 South Jog Road, Greenacres, FL 33467
- Wednesday, August 6 in Hollywood
Boulevard Heights Community Center from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
6770 Garfield Street, Hollywood, FL 33023
- Thursday, August 7 in Jacksonville
Mary L. Singleton Senior Center from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
150 East First Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
For more information, visit
www.MyFloridaCFO.com/SAFE or call our Consumer Helpline at
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights Is Signed into Law
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater applauded Governor Rick Scott for
signing Senate Bill 708 into law, creating a Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights
that provides important consumer protections and greater transparency in the
insurance claim-filing process.
"The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights is a much-needed resource to help
homeowners understand their rights and responsibilities when filing an insurance
claim," said CFO Atwater. "When someone is dealing with the unexpected loss of
their property, they need to know they will be treated fairly by their insurance
company and the contractors who are providing services."
The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights must be provided to every policyholder
who files a claim. The bill of rights will be a simply worded one-page document
that references current Florida law about the rights of policyholders in their
claims process. It will also inform policyholders about what they should expect
during their claims process and provide advice on the steps they should take in
Senate Bill 708 passed unanimously in both chambers of the Florida
Legislature, under the leadership of House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate
President Don Gaetz. The House and Senate bill sponsors were Representatives
Dave Hood and George Moraitis and Senator Aaron Bean. The Homeowner Claims Bill
of Rights goes into effect on October 1, 2014.
Florida Economic Briefs
State Economy Growing Faster than U.S.
The value of
Florida's total economy topped $800 billion in 2013, growing at a faster pace
than the nation. In 2013, Florida's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 2.2
percent over the year while U.S. real GDP grew by 1.8 percent.
Source: U.S. Bureau of
New foreclosure filings fall statewide in May
foreclosures filings in Florida fell to a 12- month low in May, with
approximately 20,000 new filings during the month.
Florida's Bottom Line on Sports
Each year, Florida is host to more than 1,800 professional sports events as
well as thousands of other sporting games and tournaments statewide,
including amateur and college sports, golf, fishing and hunting, boating and
yachting, and motorsports. The innovation spurred by this, and the drive to
create the world’s leading sports systems, are responsible for the
development of new tools and technologies that better connect us, improve
our quality of life, and allow us to explore and experience sports in more
exciting, enriching ways. Inside the Spring edition of
Florida’s Bottom Line, you’ll find expert commentary on
the innovation and advancement happening within the world of sports right
here in Florida.