Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody wants consumers to be more aware of numerous scams and frauds and has launched a new consumer alerts website.
The new site will tell Floridians about the latest tricks fraudsters are using to try to steal their money.
“Scammers are working around the clock to steal your hard-earned money, so we must work just as hard to prevent fraud and protect Floridians. But we can’t win this fight alone. Often the best way to stop a scam is to make sure people have the tools to avoid falling victim. That is why I am launching our new consumer alert webpage—so Floridians can learn about the latest scams conveniently, in one location. Please remember, educating yourself about the latest scams and taking steps to avoid falling victim will help us build a stronger, safer Florida,” Moody said on Monday.
Conmen have already been quite busy. Over the past year, Moody’s office has dealt with scams involving gift card resales and fraudsters spoofing Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) phone numbers and pretending to raise money for police-related charities when they were really trying to keep the money for themselves.
“As a former prosecutor and judge, I’ve learned one of the best tools we have to fight fraud and protect Floridians is to educate consumers so they can take steps to avoid falling victim,” Moody said in a video touting the new site.
One of the newer scams involves phones ringing one time from a number that looks like it originates in the United States. The actual number is an international one. If you call back, the fraudsters will try and keep you on the phone for as long as possible while racking up a large international phone bill. The scammers keep a portion of that phone charge.
Moody offered a warning about this growing scam.
“If you do not recognize a number, do not call it back, and if something seems suspicious, report it to my office immediately or contact the Federal Communications Commission,” Moody said.
Another alert from Moody’s office is about a new scam called conversation hijacking where a spammer inserts themselves into an ongoing email conversation between two people with an email containing a malicious link with a virus inside. The conmen hope since the email appears to come from a trusted source while you are already having an email conversation that you will click on the malicious link, giving the scammer access to take your computer hostage or empty your bank account through hacking.
Moody urged Floridians who are targeted by fraudsters to call (866) 9NO-SCAM or visit MyFloridaLegal.com and report it.
Reach Mike Synan at firstname.lastname@example.org.