C F O Patronis'  Weekly Rundown newsletter
DFS Homepage | Past Issues | PDF Volume 15 | Number 2 | January 10, 2018

Dear Fellow Floridians:

Recent widespread data breaches at major companies like Equifax and Uber have huge implications for our 20 million residents. Florida has the second highest number of identity theft complaints per capita with Miami, Naples, Tallahassee, and Orlando in the top 10 metro areas for these complaints. It can happen to anyone.

Florida law allows credit reporting agencies to charge a fee of up to $10 to freeze credit reports, and data breach victims are required to submit paperwork to prove their identity is in jeopardy to avoid paying the fee. No one should have to jump through hoops to get a fee waived.

This week Commissioner Adam Putnam, Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. Shawn Harrison stood with me to urge lawmakers to eliminate the credit report freeze fee in Florida. Four states (Indiana, South Carolina, Maine, North Carolina) do not charge this fee and we want to add Florida to that list this year.

Sincerely,

Jimmy
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida


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News of Interest

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Florida CFO to push legislation for first responders

Sun Sentinel: Lawmakers to take another stab at ending claims abuses blamed for rate hikes

Sun Sentinel: Politicians and the assignment of benefits insurance scam

Sun Sentinel: Flexible jobs fill a need for South Florida companies, workers


CFO Jimmy Patronis, Commissioner Putnam Urge Lawmakers to End Credit Report Freeze Fee

-House Bill 953 passed unanimously out of its first committee on Wednesday-

CFO Patronis addresses press on Credit report freeze fee eliminationAt a joint press conference on Wednesday, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Adam H. Putnam along with Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa) urged lawmakers to eliminate the credit report freeze fee during the 2018 Legislative Session. Senate Bill 1302, sponsored by Sen. Brandes, and House Bill 953, sponsored by Rep. Harrison, aim to make it easier for Floridians to protect themselves from fraud. HB 953 passed unanimously out of its first committee, House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee, on Wednesday.

"Florida has the second highest number of identity theft complaints per capita with Miami, Naples, Tallahassee, and Orlando in the top 10 metro areas for these complaints," said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “We know data breaches will continue to happen to no fault of consumers. No one should have to jump through hoops to protect themselves from fraud."

"We should do all we can to make protecting consumers’ financial information even easier. Protecting consumers from fraud continues to be a top priority of mine," stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.

"Whether a data breach victim or a consumer wanting to protect themselves from fraud, Floridians should be able to easily freeze their credit without having to pay to do so," said Sen. Jeff Brandes. "It’s the right thing to do."

"We’ve seen time and time again the implications data breaches have for Floridians," said Rep. Shawn Harrison. "There should not be a burden placed on the consumer’s shoulders just to protect their credit."

Florida law currently allows credit report agencies to charge a fee of up to $10 to freeze credit reports, and data breach victims are required to submit paperwork to prove their identity is in jeopardy to avoid paying the fee. Four states (Indiana, South Carolina, Maine, North Carolina) do not charge fees to freeze credit.


Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart Workshops

Operation S.A.F.E.Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis invites you to participate in Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart, a free workshop for seniors, their families, and caregivers.

The Florida Department of Financial Services launched Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) as part of CFO Patronis’ On Guard for Seniors initiative. Be Scam Smart workshops help inform, empower, and protect Florida’s seniors from financial scams and fraud. If you want to make sure your savings are protected, register for this workshop and get a better understanding of how scam artists and scams work.

Be Scam Smart by learning more about:

  • How to Spot Fraudulent Behavior - Are you at risk?
  • Common Scams that Target Seniors - Is this too good to be true?
  • How to Fight Identity Theft - Protect, Prevent, Police

Feedback from seniors who attended a Be Scam Smart workshop:

"Really learned a lot of valuable information." - Jacksonville
"This was a very valuable topic of interest in our present world." - Arcadia
"I live alone and learned a lot of helpful information that I can share with other seniors." - Zephyrhills
"As a result of this presentation I will be more aware of what is going on around me." - Pensacola
"The info was very good and eyes opened more than ever." - Ormond Beach

Find out more about us in the About Us section or Register for an upcoming event, including the following workshops:

Tuesday, January 23 - Miami
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
First National Bank of South Miami
5750 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL 33143
Register | Directions | Flyer

Thursday, January 25 - Vero Beach
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
United Way of Indian River County
1836 14th Avenue, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Register | Directions | Flyer

If you would like to request a workshop in your area, let us know.


Florida Economic Brief

Florida projected to have $1 trillion economy in 2018
Florida’s economy is expected to hit the $1 trillion mark — about the size of Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product — in 2018, the Florida Chamber of Commerce projected Tuesday.
Source: Florida Chamber of Commerce

Florida Department of Financial Services © 2018