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**CONSUMER ALERT** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Post-Disaster Fraud & Scams


For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications,, 850.413.2842

CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Post-Disaster Fraud & Scams

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is encouraging Floridians to be on the lookout for post-disaster related scams. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sharing important safety tips to help guard against these types of schemes.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “With Invest 91L, which has a chance of developing into a tropical depression, heading towards Florida, I am reminding Floridians that it is important to know the signs of post-disaster fraud and scams anytime a storm takes aim at our state. Unfortunately, we know too well that after a hurricane hits, we see bad actors looking to make a quick buck. Always verify the license of contractors prior to hiring them to ensure they are registered to conduct business in Florida. Be wary of offers for post-storm repairs or services that require a cash payment. Also, make sure to guard your personal information closely and be on the look-out for charity related scams. If you or a loved one believes you have fallen victim to a post-storm scam, report it immediately at”
Seven Tips from the FTC on how to avoid post-disaster scams:
• Be skeptical of anyone promising immediate clean-up and debris removal. Some may quote outrageous prices, demand payment up-front, or lack the skills needed.
• Check them out. Before you pay, ask for IDs, licenses, and proof of insurance. Don’t believe any promises that aren’t in writing.
• Never pay by wire transfer, gift card, cryptocurrency, or in cash. And never make the final payment until the work is done and you’re satisfied.
• Guard your personal information. Only scammers will say they’re a government official and then demand money or your credit card, bank account, or Social Security number.
• Know that FEMA doesn’t charge application fees. If someone wants money to help you qualify for FEMA funds, that’s probably a scam.
• Be wise to rental listing scams. Steer clear of people who tell you to wire money or ask for security deposits or rent before you’ve met or signed a lease.
• Spot disaster-related charity scams. Scammers will often try to make a quick profit from the misfortune of others. Check out the FTC’s advice on donating wisely and avoiding charity scams.
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).