Sello de Jimmy Patronis, CFO

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CFO Jimmy Patronis Provides Tips to Protect Florida’s Service Members from Fraud & Scams

7/7/2022
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, in honor of July as Military Consumer Protection Month, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is encouraging the more than 65,000 active-duty servicemembers that call Florida home, to beware of fraud and provides tips on how to avoid scams. Los expertos say that Florida ranks 5th in fraud reports and 10th in identity theft reports nationwide. Members of all branches of the U.S. military are often targeted by fraudsters and predatory lending practices.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “As your CFO, I am committed to protecting our military heroes and their families from financial fraud and scams; ensuring that Florida remains one of the most military friendly states in the country. Our service members risk everything to protect our nation at home and abroad and the last thing they need is to be taken advantage of by a scam artist looking to make a quick buck. I encourage all military members to review important consumer protection tips and always stay on guard by consistently monitoring your accounts, credit report, and to report signs of fraud immediately. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it is. If you believe yourself or a loved one has fallen victim to fraud, report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
 
Six Ways to Avoid Scams for Military Consumers:
 
1. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. It’s easy to fake Caller ID, so don’t use it to decide whether a call is real.
2. Is it a recorded sales pitch? Robocalls like that are illegal. Hang up. Don’t press a number to speak to a person or be taken off the list. That could just lead to more calls.

3. Before you give up your money or personal information, stop and check it out. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” Search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

4. Talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry, so slow down. Tell a friend – before you give up your money or personal information.

5. If you decide to pay someone, consider how you pay. Credit cards have fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky. It’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for iTunes cards and reloadable cards like MoneyPak, Reloadit, or Vanilla. Once you share the number on the card, the money is gone. Remember that the government and honest companies won’t insist that you use these payment methods.

6. Never deposit a check and wire money back. That’s a big sign of a scam. Banks have only a few days to make funds from deposited checks available. But it can take weeks to  uncover a fake check. If the check you deposited turns out to be fake, you have to repay the bank the full amount.