My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

As you know, my office works daily to reduce the rate of fraud in the state of Florida. Unfortunately, we’ve recently become aware that someone is attempting to bring fraud to our doorstep. We’ve identified a new scam in which emails are sent to consumers, claiming to come from the Director of our Division of Insurance Fraud, asking for pieces of personal information in order to assist our efforts on a case or to prevent being prosecuted for an alleged crime.

We’ve obtained copies of some of these emails, many of which instruct consumers to contact the Tucson International Airport for details on where to send their personal insurance-related information. We are looking into the matter and we aim to quickly get to the bottom of it. However, I can confirm that while these emails have our logo and our street address, they did not come from within our Department.Division of Insurance Fraud Badge

The Division of Insurance Fraud regularly conducts interviews and routinely speaks with consumers, insurance professionals, health care providers and others as part of their investigative work.

However, the Division of Insurance Fraud does not request personal information via email and would never ask a consumer to contact a third party in order to provide any confidential information. We ask anyone who has received any email claiming to come from Director Simon Blank or Assistant Director Timothy Cannon requesting such information to disregard any and all requests for personal information and refrain from calling any hotline or toll-free number that may be provided.

We’ve learned that some of these fraudulent emails have originated from a Gmail account—this account is not related in any way to the Department of Financial Services or the Division of Insurance Fraud. Should you or anyone you know receive an email from any Gmail account or any other personal account platform other than our official state government account, please contact our Office by calling 850-413-3115.

A copy of one such fraudulent email can be viewed here. Please remain vigilant in protecting your personal information and don’t hesitate to give us a call if you receive correspondence that does not appear legitimate.

Sincerely,

Jeff
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida


News of Interest

Tampa Bay Times: State regulator gives Florida property insurers high marks in hurricane 'stress tests'

The Ledger: Letter: Yes, Dorothy, money awaits you

Florida Today: Better weather, lower taxes make Florida attractive

Tampa Bay Business Journal: Where Florida ranks on Forbes ‘best states for businesses’

Associated Press: U.S. home sales rebound in September after August slump

Washington Post: Teaching financial literacy is essential

Tampa Bay Times: Numbers spotlight how Florida economy compares to other states

Florida's International Trade InfographicFlorida's Bottom Line

As the ever-innovating world economy continues to diversify and expand, Florida must continue to make strategic investments in order to remain a key player in major global trade lanes. These investments are already at work deepening our ports to accommodate larger ships and strengthening rail lines to increase the speed at which goods flow through our state.

Read more about international business in Florida in the current edition of Florida's Bottom Line, CFO Atwater’s quarterly economic magazine. This edition focuses on Florida's international trade, one of the most important elements of Florida’s economy as it embodies the global success of businesses across the state.

In addition, Florida's Bottom Line website keeps you up-to-date on Florida's economy and finances in between quarterly editions. Past editions, special reports, infographics and news archives reflect the recent flow of Florida facts and economic attitudes.

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida jumps two letter grades on State Financial Literacy Efforts
Florida jumped two letter grades in Champlain College’s report on State Financial Literacy Efforts. Florida rose from a “D” in 2013 to a “B” in 2015 due to new financial literacy requirements that were passed in 2014.
Source: Champlain College

Florida’s housing market increases over the year
In September, there were over 23,000 closed home sales in Florida, up 13.4 percent from this time last year. Additionally, the median sale price is up 11 percent over the year, to $199,900.
Source: Florida Realtors

Stop Adult Financial Exploitation

Operation S.A.F.E.Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater 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 Atwater’s 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:

  • The Psychology of a Scam
  • How to Spot Fraudulent Behavior
  • Common Scams that Target Seniors
  • How to Fight Identity Theft
  • Resources to Keep You Safe

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

  • Friday, November 6th - Milton
    12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. CST
    Santa Rosa Medical Center
    6002 Berryhill Road, Milton, Florida 32570
    Register | Directions | Flyer