Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Attorney General Moody Issues Fraud Prevention Tips in Recognition of International Fraud Awareness Week
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—In recognition of International Fraud Awareness Week, Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert with tips for Floridians to guard against fraud. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that businesses worldwide lose 5% of revenue each year to fraud, totaling more than $4.5 trillion lost annually. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 2.1 million fraud reports from consumers last year, with reported consumer-related losses adding up to more than $3.3 billion. In 2020, imposter scams and online shopping fraud were the top fraud complaints reported to the FTC by consumers. According to a recent report, digital fraud, such as identity theft and phishing attacks, are on the rise this year. While fraud accounts for significant losses each year, consumers can take steps to avoid falling victim to these schemes. Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Fraudsters work day and night to trick consumers into parting with their hard-earned money. That is why it is so important to stay ahead of the latest trends and take steps to avoid falling prey to their schemes. In recognition of International Fraud Awareness Week, I am issuing a Consumer Alert to help Floridians spot and guard against scams.”
Attorney General Moody is issuing the following tips to help Floridians avoid fraud:
- Check bank and credit card account statements regularly to ensure there are no fraudulent charges or withdrawals;
- Use credit cards for transactions, if possible. While charges on both debit and credit cards can be disputed if the card number is stolen, with debit charges, those funds have already been accessed;
- Review credit reports at least once a year. Consumers can access a free credit report annually from the three major credit reporting agencies. To receive a free credit report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com;
- Do not provide financial or personal information, such as passwords and Social Security numbers, in response to a solicitation;
- Use strong passwords that incorporate a mixture of capitalized and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Do not use the same password across multiple applications or websites;
- Consider enabling multi-factor authentication on all accounts that offer it;
- Refrain from opening emails or attachments from unfamiliar senders; and
- Be wary of clicking on links in an email, even if it is from a familiar bank or business entity. Call the institution to determine whether the email is legitimate.
Additionally, Attorney General Moody created two consumer-related programs designed to warn Floridians about common and emerging scams.
Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Alert program is designed to inform the public of emerging scams, new methods used to commit fraud, trends in consumer complaints and other deceptive practices utilized to take advantage of Floridians. To learn more and to access recently released Consumer Alerts, visit MyFloridaLegal.com/ConsumerAlert.The Scams at a Glance program is another resource Attorney General Moody’s office provides to Florida consumers. Scams at a Glance produces free downloadable brochures with information on common and emerging scams. The program is designed to encourage people to download, print and share brochures with those who may have difficulty accessing information online—particularly seniors. To access the Scams at a Glance resources, visit MyFloridaLegal.com/ScamsAtAGlance.
# # #The Florida Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division issues Consumer Alerts to inform Floridians of emerging scams, new methods used to commit fraud, increased reports of common scams, or any other deceptive practice. Consumer Alerts are designed to notify Floridians about scams and available refunds in an effort to prevent financial losses or other harm caused by deceptive practices. Anyone encountering a scam should report the incident to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.