With reports from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) about a growing number of scams and fraud in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis offered tips for residents of the Sunshine State.
On Tuesday, Patronis urged Floridians to remain cautious, including being up to date on fraud schemes.
“As COVID-19 continues to affect our communities, we must stay alert and watch out for scam artists trying to make a quick buck off consumers,” Patronis said. “I encourage all Floridians to stay informed of the latest fraud and scam tactics and know how to report these deceptive practices. Just as we’ve seen during recent natural disasters, scam artists will prey on Florida consumers during their most vulnerable times. Stay vigilant, never give out your personal or financial information to businesses you do not trust, and report suspected scams immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
Patronis’ office offered the following Tips to Avoid Coronavirus Scams:
1. Beware of coronavirus cons. Look out for fake cures, phony prevention measures, and other scams. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Be on guard for charity scams. Scammers often impersonate genuine charities and ask for donations, or contact you claiming to be collecting money for relief after natural disasters or major events. Always verify that a charity is legitimate before you donate.
3. Beware of online scams. Scam artists may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick you into revealing sensitive information. Be careful when browsing online and never give out your personal or financial information.
4. Only buy from reputable stores and websites. The best way to avoid getting scammed is to buy from a seller you know and trust.