Florida's Chief Financial Officer is sharing tips to avoid fraudsters during National Crime Prevention Month.
"There's bad people out there and their business model is, and sometimes it's overseas, is to separate you from your dollars."
Jimmy Patronis shares this easy to remember rule of thumb.
"Would you give cash to somebody you didn't know across your doorstep? Then why would you give them your credit card information across the Telephone? There's no difference."
A common way that fraud is being carried out these days is through robocalls to your cell phone. Patronis says the large phone carriers are now helping out.
"I applaud every single one of the carriers that we started kind of beating up on them. They've all rolled out very rudimentary basic spam protection where it warns you 'This could be a spam phone call'."
He urges us to download one of those apps and you don't have to spend a ton of money.
"And just use the basic one. You don't have to necessarily go opt in to the premium $10 a month product. But get that active on your phone in order to at least have some awareness that the call you're getting is a fraudster."
The CFO also warns of a new scam in which consumers are sent to a fraudulent website directing them to pay $100 to activate something like a smart speaker or Roku. Patronis says don't buy it. Set up is always free.
Patronis heads up "Fraud Free Florida," which is an initiative aimed at bringing together members of law enforcement and state attorneys from around the state to protect citizens from being scammed.
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