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**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Coronavirus Scams

3/17/2020

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
**Consumer Alert**
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Coronavirus Scams

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —With recent reports from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of scam tactics associated with the coronavirus, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis urges Floridians to stay alert when receiving offers for products and services related to this public health emergency, as they may be fraudulent.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “As COVID-19 continues to affect our communities, we must stay alert and watch out for scam artists trying to make a quick buck off consumers. I encourage all Floridians to stay informed of the latest fraud and scam tactics and know how to report these deceptive practices. Just as we’ve seen during recent natural disasters, scam artists will prey on Florida consumers during their most vulnerable times. Stay vigilant, never give out your personal or financial information to businesses you do not trust, and report suspected scams immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
 
4 Tips to Avoid Coronavirus Scams
 
1. Beware of coronavirus cons. Look out for fake cures, phony prevention measures, and other scams. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Be on guard for charity scams. Scammers often impersonate genuine charities and ask for donations, or contact you claiming to be collecting money for relief after natural disasters or major events. Always verify that a charity is legitimate before you donate.
3. Beware of online scams. Scam artists may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick you into revealing sensitive information. Be careful when browsing online and never give out your personal or financial information.
4. Only buy from reputable stores and websites. The best way to avoid getting scammed is to buy from a seller you know and trust.
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).