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CFO Jimmy Patronis Consumer Alert: Watch Out for These Top 3 Fraud Tactics

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Released By Florida Department of Financial Services

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning Floridians of a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network which outlines top types of fraud in Florida. According to the report, debt collection, imposter scams, and identity theft top the list of the most reported fraud categories in the state.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “As we face a fraud epidemic in Florida, it’s important for consumers to be aware of the latest tactics used by scam artists. We are committed to continuing to work with state and local officials so we can improve investigative efforts to combat fraud in Florida. We must protect our consumers, especially seniors, from financial scams and identity theft.

“If you or a loved one feel you have been the victim of fraud, please visit my website at FraudFreeFlorida.com to report it immediately. The more these scams are reported, the greater chance we have to bring these fraudsters to justice.”

Top 3 Fraud Tactics:

1.  Debt Collection – Debt collector calls repeatedly or continuously, falsely represents the amount or status of debt, fails to send written notice of debt, falsely threatens law suit, uses profane language, fails to identify self as debt collector and or violates other provisions of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 

2.  Identity Theft – Identity theft is when someone takes your personal identifying information (such as your Social Security number or credit card account number) to commit fraud or theft. Constantly monitor your bank and credit card statements for fraud and remember you’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months. Report signs of identity theft immediately by visiting FraudFreeFlorida.com. 

3.  Imposter Scams – Someone pretends to be a trusted person to get consumers to send money or give personal information. Examples include:

·  Scammers claiming to work for or be affiliated with a government agency

·  Scammers posing as a friend or relative with an emergency need for money;

·  Scammers posing as a romantic interest;

·  Scammers claiming to be a computer technician offering technical support;

·  and scammers claiming to be affiliated with a private entity (e.g., a charity or company).

Learn how to spot an imposter scam at  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0037-imposter-scams.