Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

In recognition of National Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, I issued a Consumer Alert full of tips to help taxpayers protect their personal information. Tax season is a prime time for criminals to try and steal your identity or file for a return in your name. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure.

No one likes doing their taxes, but procrastination is the enemy when guarding against refund scams. One of the best things you can do to avoid tax return fraud is to file your return early. By taking quick action, you eliminate the opportunity for a scammer to use your information to steal your tax return.

Scammers will use telephone number spoofing technology to trick taxpayers into thinking they are receiving a call from the Internal Revenue Service. So, remember that the IRS only initiates contact by mail and will never demand that you make an immediate payment.

Also, when hiring a professional to do your taxes, thoroughly research tax preparers before handing over personal and financial information.

Finally, if you’re filing online be sure to use a secure internet connection, and if filing by mail, take your return directly to the post office.

If you do encounter a tax return scam, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration online at TIGTA.gov or by calling 1(800) 366-4484.

By taking steps to protect your identity and guard against scams this tax season, you can stop fraud and help us build a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Ashley Moody
Protecting Floridians
BACK THE BLUE ALERT: Attorney General Recognizes Tallahassee Police Officer for Supporting Mental Health Awareness



Attorney General Ashley Moody presented a Back the Blue Award to Tallahassee Police Officer Sean Wyman for his dedicated efforts to support mental health for first responders. Officer Wyman is a police officer who, in his spare time, recently co-authored Going Beyond the Call: Mental Health Fitness for Public Safety Professionals. Officer Wyman noticed the high suicide rate among first responders and wanted to equip public safety professionals with better training to handle the stress that comes with their careers. Going Beyond the Call provides educational training for mental health awareness, prevention, mitigation and treatment strategies relating to public safety professionals. The book also focuses on social-emotional trauma, stress impacts and communication strategies to reduce the number of suicides within the public safety industry.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Supporting mental health for our first responders is so important. Our law enforcement officers, and all first responders, carry heavy loads with them, not only physically but mentally every day. Suicide is a silent epidemic threatening our first responders and we now see more active and retired law enforcement officers nationwide commit suicide in a year than those that die in the line of duty. We must back our first responders and let them know help is available and that there is no stigma for seeking out assistance. Thank you, Officer Wyman, for highlighting this critical issue and going above and beyond to help your law enforcement brothers and sisters.” More.


Attorney General Moody’s Statement on CVS and Walgreens’ Filing

Attorney General Ashley Moody issued the following statement in response to the third-party complaint filed by CVS Pharmacy Inc. and Walgreen Company:

“This stunt is simply a tone-deaf distraction by two of the wrongdoers in the national opioid crisis that is claiming 15 lives in Florida every single day. Our complaint alleges that these national pharmacies are responsible for knowingly flooding Florida with billions of dangerous and addictive pills all while the opioid crisis continued to spiral out of control. Instead of engaging in stunts, I would think that these companies would be better served by coming to the table to resolve this crisis that is wreaking havoc on our state.”

To view the Motion to Strike or Sever Third-Party Complaint of CVS Pharmacy and Walgreen Company, click
here.


Attorney General Moody Appoints Melanie Bonanno to Florida’s Commission on the Status of Women



Attorney General Ashley Moody appointed Melanie Bonanno to Florida’s Commission on the Status of Women. Bonanno is a notable attorney, currently serving as the Director of Employment Law for Publix Super Markets, a mother of three and is the 2014 recipient of the Most Powerful & Influential Woman Award by the National Diversity Council. The FCSW is a non-partisan group with a focus on raising awareness and celebrating the contributions and successes of all Floridians. Additionally, the FCSW provides a collaborative platform for those seeking information on issues that affect women, girls and their families in Florida.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I’m proud to appoint Melanie Bonanno to Florida’s Commission on the Status of Women. Her strong legal background, experience serving on several boards of directors and juggling a high-paced career as a mom of three will prove invaluable to the Commission. Congratulations, Melanie, I look forward to the good work you will do for all Floridians.”
More.


Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to Speak at Government Cyber Awareness Workshop

Florida State Attorney General Ashley Moody will be the keynote speaker at an upcoming cyber awareness workshop for local and county government employees presented by Cyber Florida and the Marion County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller on February 11 at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion and Extension Auditorium in Ocala.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Last year, several cities and at least one Florida school district were held hostage by cybercriminals. These attacks on our cities are expensive and divert the government’s focus away from serving its citizens. These workshops and trainings will help local leaders across Florida implement procedures to prevent, respond to and recover from cyberattacks.” More.
Events
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody presented a Back the Blue Award to Tallahassee Police Officer Sean Wyman during a Florida Cabinet meeting. Officer Wyman accepted the award with his family, alongside new Tallahassee Chief of Police Lawrence Revell.




Attorney General Moody with members of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women in Tallahassee. During the meeting, Attorney General Moody announced the appointment of Melanie Bonanno to the FCSW.




Attorney General Moody speaking at the Ringing of the Bell Ceremony honoring fallen firefighters in front of the Firefighters Memorial Monument in the Florida Capitol Courtyard.




Attorney General Moody addressing members of Leadership St. Petersburg, a division of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.




Attorney General Moody speaking with delegates representing the Florida Keys gathered in Tallahassee for the Florida Keys’ Annual Legislative Advocacy Day.




Attorney General Moody supporting the Lauren’s Kids 42 Hours for the 42 Million Campaign by running on a treadmill in the rotunda of the Florida Capitol. Founded by Florida Senator Lauren Book, Lauren’s Kids is an organization that educates adults and children about child sexual abuse prevention and helps survivors heal.




Attorney General Moody with Pensacola Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Mary Williams-Green of the Pensacola Police Department. Officer Williams-Green is a School Resource Officer who helps girls from low-economic backgrounds receive prom dresses. She also helped her department partner with the Manna Food Pantry to deliver nonperishable food items to hungry kids.




Attorney General Moody joining Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, law enforcement officers and other Florida officials at the Flip the Switch Ceremony to start the Florida State Fair in Hillsborough County.




Attorney General Moody speaking at the Fresh from Florida Breakfast at the Florida State Fair.




Attorney General Moody with Commissioner Fried and members of the Future Farmers of America and 4-H, the largest youth development organization in the country.





Attorney General Moody speaking at the Governor’s Day Luncheon at the Florida State Fair.