**Consumer Alert** Check Scam Involving Florida's Department of Financial Services
Contact: Ashley Carr
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Financial Services has recently become aware of a scam in which consumers receive fraudulent checks that are made to appear as if they have been issued by the Department. In some cases, checks appear to be signed with a forged signature of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. These fraudulent checks have been received and reported by consumers who were not expecting to receive funds from the Department.
So far, five checks have been reported to the Department from consumers in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Currently, no fraudulent checks have been reported by Floridians. The checks, with varying values between $1900 and $4000, have all been deemed fraudulent by the Department’s Office of Fiscal Integrity, which investigates the misuse of state funds. A scan of one of the fraudulent checks is attached.
The Department frequently issues checks for a host of reasons, including unclaimed property payments, but the Department will not distribute a check to a consumer without first notifying them.
Consumers who receive an unexpected check from the Department of Financial Services that seems suspicious should not attempt to cash it but should report it to Department’s Office of Fiscal Integrity by calling (850) 413–5514.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).