Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
As the federal government prepares to make payments mandated through the coronavirus stimulus package, scammers are making efforts to steal those benefits. This week, I issued a Consumer Alert to warn Floridians about emerging stimulus scams and provide tips to help them avoid falling prey to fraudsters.
Sadly, even before the coronavirus stimulus package passed, scammers began sending text messages to people claiming they could make a claim by clicking a link that most likely contained malware.
Be skeptical of any unsolicited messages from strangers asking you to click links or provide personal information to receive benefits, and educate yourself about the economic rescue package now, to avoid falling victim to these and other new fraud tactics.
Qualified tax filers who have already provided banking information to the Internal Revenue Service will receive a direct deposit in the coming weeks, and DO NOT NEED to take action. The IRS will mail notices to beneficiaries within a few weeks after payments are made. Anyone who receives a notice, but did not receive a payment, should contact the IRS immediately.
The IRS will not initiate contact with beneficiaries by email, text messages or social media to request personal or financial information. The IRS emphasizes on its website that no sign-up is needed to receive payment.
For more tips on avoiding stimulus payment scams, click here.
Anyone who encounters one of these scams or any other type of COVID-19 fraud, should contact my office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or MyFloridaLegal.com.
Please stay safe, listen to health experts and take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Stay safe, Florida.
In The News
Florida Attorney General's price gouging hotline has been ringing nonstop for the past three weeks, according to the office., ABC Action News
COVID-19 scams, price gouging prompt statewide warnings, crackdown, Sun Sentinel
Ashley Moody warns about coronavirus price gouging, Florida Politics
Attorney General’s Office is taking action to address allegations of price gouging, WINK News
No April Fools' joke: 'Corona-scams' will spread as fast as COVID-19, Fort Myers News-Press
Ashley Moody Warns Floridians About Coronavirus Stimulus Scams, Florida Daily
Virus scams: What you need to know to be safe, The Villages Daily Sun
Scammers are already targeting your stimulus check, Florida Attorney General warns, ABC Action News
Floridians: Beware of ‘scammers’ trying to steal coronavirus stimulus money, WKMG Orlando
CONSUMER ALERT: Scammers Use COVID-19 Stimulus Package to Target Floridians, Space Coast Daily
Florida attorney general cracks down on coronavirus price gouging, scams, WJHG Panama City
Coronavirus Florida: Deaths projected to hit 6,766 by August, Tallahassee Democrat
Ashley Moody Urges Floridians to Guard Against Hackers When Working From Home, Florida Daily
CONSUMER ALERT: Attorney General Ashley Moody Warns Citizens Against Hackers When Working From Home, Space Coast Daily
Florida attorney general issues consumer alert about coronavirus-related scams, WPLG Miami
Coronavirus Price Gouging: 50 online Amazon vendors being investigated by Florida's attorney general, WPTV West Palm Beach
Florida attorney general encourages caution as COVID-19 scams on the rise, Villages-News
Scammers in Florida tie coronavirus to Census to steal personal information, Moody says, Orlando Sentinel
Florida Attorney General Warns Of COVID-19 Scam, WFSU Public Media
VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Issues Subpoenas, Secures Refunds and Deactivates Posts Following Consumer Reports of Price Gouging
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office is taking swift action to address allegations of price gouging. Attorney General Moody assembled a Rapid Response Team to quickly respond to reports of unlawful price increases. Since the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration activating Florida’s price gouging laws, Moody’s office has issued dozens of subpoenas, deactivated more than 100 online posts and secured thousands in direct refunds for consumers.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This marks three weeks since I activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline and already we are getting results for Floridians. Our first goal is to deter price gouging in real time so consumers can afford the essential commodities they need to stay healthy as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic together. While my Rapid Response Team is contacting businesses, securing refunds and working with online platforms to remove outrageous posts, we are also issuing subpoenas and preserving evidence to advance our price gouging investigations.
“We are most effective when Floridians help us, so I want to encourage anyone who sees exorbitant price increases on essential commodities to please contact my office immediately so we can address the matter as soon as possible.” More.
VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Scammers Exploit US Census and COVID-19 to Rip Off Floridians
Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert to warn Floridians about scammers using COVID-19 and the mandatory count to steal personal information. An emerging scam involves a false claim that Floridians must respond to the 2020 Census in order to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. The scam message usually includes a link that directs anyone who clicks on it to a fake website with prompts to provide sensitive personal information. While participating in the Census is mandatory, there is no connection between completing the Census and receiving a stimulus check.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Scammers will try anything to steal from consumers, and with the stimulus payments on the way and a mandatory Census count underway, there is a perfect storm of fraud opportunities. Floridians need to stay informed about the Census count and educate themselves about the coronavirus stimulus package, so they will not be easily tricked by scammers trying use the news to make a dishonest dollar.” More.