TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – According to a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network, debt collection, imposter scams, and identity theft top the list of the most reported fraud categories in Florida.
It seems there’s a new fraud scheme every week. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is warning Floridians of a fraud epidemic in Florida.
“We are committed to continuing to work with state and local officials so we can improve investigative efforts to combat fraud in Florida,” Patronis said in a news release. “We must protect our consumers, especially seniors, from financial scams and identity theft.”
The best defense against scammers is knowing how they’ll attack:
- 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 lawsuit, uses profane language, fails to identify self as debt collector and or violates other provisions of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- 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.
- 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;
- Scammers claiming to be affiliated with a private entity (e.g., a charity or company). Learn how to spot an imposter scam.
If you or a loved feel like you have been the victim of fraud, visit FraudFreeFlorida.com to report it immediately. The more scams are reported, the better the chance to stop it.
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