Agents should routinely verify the licensure of the companies for which they're selling. If you suspect an entity is not authorized or licensed to transact insurance in Florida, from Florida or with residents of Florida, please notify our office. Report suspected unlicensed activity. Call 877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
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Can you hear me now? In the time it takes for you to answer that question, you could have already fallen victim to a scam. Tax season has arrived and for some of us, filing our taxes may not be the most burdensome of tasks, but that can quickly change as scammers and fraudsters are more active now than any other time of the year. Unfortunately, Floridians are often targeted by scammers as our high number of senior residents are among the most likely to be targeted. February is Senior Independence Month and while conversations with our parents and grandparents about their independent living and home safety may have already begun, we must remember that discussing how to protect our seniors' finances is equally as important.
Recent reports show that consumers lose about $50 billion each year to scammers, with phone scams targeting seniors accounting for a large percentage of that total. History has shown that phone scams seem to be the easiest to orchestrate, but there are many ways consumers can be scammed via email, postal mail or even face to face.
Here are some of the most recent scams that have been used to target seniors:
The Department has a wide range of free resources and information to ensure our seniors are protected from the scammers who seek to defraud them. If you're interested in learning more through one of our live "Be Scam Smart" workshops, visit our Operation S.A.F.E (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) webpage to sign up for a workshop near you. Next week, our team will be in Arcadia on February 7, and Wauchula on February 8 demonstrating how to avoid being scammed, what to look for, and how to report a potential scammer. In addition to our workshops, I encourage all Florida families to visit our Your Money Matter$ webpage this month to become familiar with the Department's multiple videos and scam fact sheets to help inform, empower and protect yourselves and your loved ones from those who may wish to steal from them. An informed community is a better-protected community and we all have a part to play.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida