State CFO Jimmy Patronis is ready to deal with fraud in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
After Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency for 26 counties in Florida–later amending that to every county in the state–Patronis activated his office’s Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST).
“This team will deploy to potentially impacted areas to help empower and protect Floridians from storm-related fraud. CFO Patronis urges residents across the state to act now to prepare for possible damage and flooding from the storm,” the CFO’s office noted.
Patronis weighed in on the matter on Thursday.
“I activated my disaster fraud teams to help empower residents with information to fight fraud before the storm makes landfall. Once the storm has passed, our teams will have boots on the ground to help protect Floridians during this vulnerable time,” Patronis said.
“Residents must take Hurricane Dorian seriously and now is the time to prepare. Taking steps today including gathering important insurance and financial documents and snapping photos of valuables, can make a major difference during recovery,” he added.
The CFO’s office provided a list of “Indicators of Storm-Related Fraud” which includes the following:
- A contractor or restoration professional who offered to waive or discount your insurance deductible.
- A contractor or restoration professional that has received payment and has failed to provide any repairs to your home.
- A contractor or restoration professional who offered to provide repairs at a cash-only discounted rate and has failed to provide repairs to your home.
- A contractor or restoration professional who pressured you to sign an AOB and has failed to provide any repairs to your home or stopped responding to your contact attempts.
Floridians with any questions or concerns are encouraged to contact CFO Patronis’ Consumer Helpline by calling 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236) or visit PrepareFl.com to download a copy of the Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit.