Jimmy Patronis: Floridians Need to Be Careful of Scams After Eta

At the end of last week, state Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis warned Floridians to beware of storm-related fraud and scams following the impacts of Tropical Storm Eta.

The CFO noted his office has a website that serves as a one-stop-shop to report fraud and learn about ways to avoid scams.

“Tropical Storm Eta made its second landfall in the state yesterday morning along Florida’s West Coast near Cedar Key causing dangerous storm surge and flooding in many Florida communities. Following any disaster, scam artists are working overtime to defraud individuals in their time of need. I encourage all Floridians to be on the lookout for bad actors trying to make a buck off of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Eta. Always verify the license of contractors prior to hiring them to ensure they are registered to conduct business in Florida. Be wary of offers for post-storm repairs or services that require a cash payment and always remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you or a loved one believes you have fallen victim to a post-storm scam, report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com,” Patronis said on Friday.

The CFO’s office offered the following Indicators of Storm-Related Fraud:

  1. A contractor or restoration professional who offered to waive or discount your insurance deductible.
  2. A contractor or restoration professional that has received payment and has failed to provide any repairs to your home.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

 

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