Ashley Moody Issues Consumer Alert to Start International Fraud Awareness Week

In recognition of International Fraud Awareness Week, on Monday, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert with tips for Floridians to guard against fraud.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that businesses worldwide lose 5 percent of revenue each year to fraud, totaling more than $4.5 trillion lost annually. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 2.1 million fraud reports from consumers last year, with reported consumer-related losses adding up to more than $3.3 billion. In 2020, imposter scams and online shopping fraud were the top fraud complaints reported to the FTC by consumers. According to a recent report, digital fraud, such as identity theft and phishing attacks, are on the rise this year. While fraud accounts for significant losses each year, consumers can take steps to avoid falling victim to these schemes.

“Fraudsters work day and night to trick consumers into parting with their hard-earned money. That is why it is so important to stay ahead of the latest trends and take steps to avoid falling prey to their schemes. In recognition of International Fraud Awareness Week, I am issuing a Consumer Alert to help Floridians spot and guard against scams,” Moody said.

Moody issued the following tips to help Floridians avoid fraud:

Check bank and credit card account statements regularly to ensure there are no fraudulent charges or withdrawals;

Use credit cards for transactions, if possible. While charges on both debit and credit cards can be disputed if the card number is stolen, with debit charges, those funds have already been accessed;

Review credit reports at least once a year. Consumers can access a free credit report annually from the three major credit reporting agencies. To receive a free credit report, go to;

Do not provide financial or personal information, such as passwords and Social Security numbers, in response to a solicitation;

Use strong passwords that incorporate a mixture of capitalized and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Do not use the same password across multiple applications or websites;

Consider enabling multi-factor authentication on all accounts that offer it;

Refrain from opening emails or attachments from unfamiliar senders; and

Be wary of clicking on links in an email, even if it is from a familiar bank or business entity. Call the institution to determine whether the email is legitimate.

Additionally, Moody created two consumer-related programs designed to warn Floridians about common and emerging scams.

Moody’s Consumer Alert program is designed to inform the public of emerging scams, new methods used to commit fraud, trends in consumer complaints and other deceptive practices utilized to take advantage of Floridians.

The Scams at a Glance program is another resource the Attorney General’s office provides to Florida consumers. Scams at a Glance produces free downloadable brochures with information on common and emerging scams. The program is designed to encourage people to download, print and share brochures with those who may have difficulty accessing information online—particularly seniors.

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