Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
This week, we announced another major settlement related to computer software and tech support scams. The defendants involved in the scam initially hooked consumers by offering free trial software or free computer scans to identify potential issues. These scans deceived consumers into thinking their computers were seriously compromised by falsely identifying computer problems or exaggerating minor issues. The defendants’ website offered a software program to fix the alleged problems for a fee.
Personal computers and laptops play an integral role in the daily lives of most Floridians, and scammers are constantly trying to exploit this dependence on technology. That is why I am working with federal partners to shutdown tech support scams that aim to bilk consumers out of millions every year.
Just last week, I joined the FTC to announce a joint action to temporarily shut down an international tech support operation tricking consumers into paying millions for bogus repair services. Additionally, my office and our federal partners achieved a $27 million settlement against companies involved in similar scams.
My office will continue to work diligently to stop these schemes and protect consumers not just in Florida, but nationwide. Anyone who suspects unfair or deceptive business practices can file a complaint with my office at MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling 1(866) 9-NO-SCAM.
In closing, last night we learned about another horrific and heartbreaking tragedy in France. At least 84 lives were taken and many severely injured while celebrating a day in French history that commemorates our ally’s freedom. My deepest condolences are with the victims of this horrible attack, their families, Nice and France in this time of mourning.
Attorney General Bondi Recognizes First National Military Consumer Protection Month
Attorney General Pam Bondi is recognizing the country’s first annual Military Consumer Protection Month with tips online and her 2016 Military Consumer Protection Guide. Military Consumer Protection Day launched in 2013 as a way to raise awareness about identity theft scams targeting service members. Now the entire month of July is dedicated to protecting the brave Americans who risk their lives to protect us.
“It’s an absolute honor that nearly 100,000 active and reserve members of the Armed Forces and more than 1.5 million veterans live in Florida, and as a state, we will do everything we can to ensure these brave Americans are protected from scams and deceptive business practices,” said Attorney General Bondi. More.
Four Arrested in Organized Retail Theft Ring
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced four arrests in connection to an organized retail theft ring across multiple Florida counties. According to the investigation, Lionel Bolden, 24, Quintin Everett, 26, Darren Harrell, 22, and Cedric Sanders, 25, coordinated and conspired to carry out retail thefts from stores along the Florida west coast, spanning from Clearwater to Naples.
“This string of thefts spanning multiple Florida counties cost retailers thousands of dollars in lost merchandise and more goods might have been stolen if it weren’t for my Office of Statewide Prosecution and the great investigative work by our local and state law enforcement partners,” said Attorney General Bondi. More.
Husband and Wife Duo Arrested for Role in Alleged Fake Investment Scam
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation announces the arrests of Miguel Angel Perez and his wife, Maritza Belinda Perez, on charges of organized fraud, grand theft and mortgage fraud in connection with the sale of investment offerings in Clearwater.
The OFR opened an investigation based on a complaint from a potential investor. The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution. The OFR appreciates the assistance of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. More.