Noting that March is Fraud Prevention Month, on Monday, state Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis called on Floridians to be on the lookout for scam artists using the latest round of stimulus payments to make a quick buck off Florida families.
With payments beginning to arrive, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is offering tips to help citizens protect themselves from financial schemes involving the newly signed legislation.
“With Floridians still recovering from the pandemic, scammers are upping their game to find new ways to deceive their next victim. These criminals will use just about anything for a payday, including hurricanes, disasters, COVID-19 vaccinations, and even the latest round of economic stimulus payments. Don’t let this latest scam impact your financial well-being. It’s critical Floridians know the warning signs of fraud to stop scams before they occur. If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com,” Patronis said.
The CFO’s office offered the following “Three Tips from the FTC to Prevent American Rescue Plan Scams” on Monday:
- The government will never ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. That’s a scam. Every time.
- The government will not call/text/email/DM you to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
- Nobody legit will ever — EVER — tell you to pay by gift card, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer through companies like Western Union or MoneyGram. You know who will tell you to pay like that? A scammer.