CFO Patronis: We Must Protect and Empower Florida’s Consumers During Fraud Prevention Month
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In recognition of March as Fraud Prevention Month, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is encouraging Floridians to be on the lookout for fraud and scams. This Legislative Session, CFO Patronis is fighting for Senate Bill 1292 and House Bill 749, Fraud Prevention, sponsored by Senator Gruters and Representative Clemons. The legislation increases penalties on unlicensed public adjusters who break the law; combats fraudulent telemarketing calls by requiring licensed warranty agencies to identity their full business name and license number immediately; forces big corporations to allow Floridians to easily cancel subscriptions; and empowers Florida policyholders by ensuring digital insurance applications will communicate with the digital driver’s license.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Every year as CFO, I’ve worked to protect Floridians and have made it my mission to empower and protect consumers. This legislative session is no different. I have been working with members and fighting to ensure our fraud prevention bill crosses the finish line. The bill, among many things, will force big corporations to allow Floridians to easily cancel subscriptions without forcing consumers to hop through a bunch of hoops. The legislation will ensure consumers can cancel a subscription service, the same way they signed up for it. The bill also helps crack down on annoying telemarketing calls and on insurance fraud by increasing penalties on unlicensed public adjusters. During Fraud Prevention Month, it is especially important to educate yourself on common scam tactics at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
Tips from the Federal Trade Commission on Avoiding Scams:
1. Block unwanted calls and text messages. Take steps to block unwanted calls and to filter unwanted text messages.
2. Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. Legitimate organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.
3. Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
4. Know how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
5. Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.