Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
Tax season is here and so are scammers looking to steal personal information and tax refunds. That is why, this week, I am asking Floridians to take steps to protect their tax information. Tax identify theft is one of the most common forms of identity theft and can cause people financial issues for years. Identity thieves will use a taxpayer’s Social Security number and personal information to steal their tax refund, open a credit card, take out a loan or find employment—causing problems for victims when filing with the Internal Revenue Service.
Identity thieves are relentless and even dig through dumpsters to find bills and other documents with sensitive information. They can also hijack personal information right off computers using public wireless networks.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent identity theft when filing your taxes. Here are a few tips to help you avoid identity theft and other tax-related scams this tax season:
Anyone victimized by identity theft should call local law enforcement. Victims wanting to file a complaint can visit FTCComplaintAssistant.gov. Consumers can also file complaints about identity theft and other types of fraud with my office by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or calling (866) 9-NO-SCAM.
- File tax returns early;
- Use a secure internet connection, not public wireless networks, if filing electronically;
- Send returns directly from the post office if you are filing by mail;
- Shred documents containing personal information; and
- Get recommendations and research a tax preparer thoroughly before providing personal information.
Manatee County Man Arrested for Grand Theft and Medicaid Fraud
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Manatee County resident for Medicaid fraud and grand theft. David Makynen, 30, is a former sub-contractor of Oasis Health Care, a provider of at-home services to disabled adults. More.
Duval County Nursing Assistant Arrested for Neglect
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrested a certified nursing assistant for neglect of an elderly and disabled patient. Renita D. Wilson, 48, is a Duval County resident formerly employed as a CNA at Terrace of Jacksonville LLC, a skilled nursing facility. According to the MFCU investigation, Wilson failed to provide care, supervision and services necessary for the well-being of the patient, and failed to make a reasonable effort to protect the patient from further neglect. More.
Attorney General Bondi Secures Refunds for Victims of Loan Scam
Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the multimillion dollar resolution of a lawsuit against several related unsecured loan services companies and operators. The three consent judgments and one settlement agreement obtained by Attorney General Bondi’s Office resolve allegations that the defendant companies and their principals unlawfully charged cash-strapped consumers fees ranging from $500 to more than $1,000 for online lending services that consumers could perform on their own for free. The defendants allegedly convinced consumers to pay illegal up-front fees by falsely guaranteeing that a lender in the defendants’ lender network had pre-approved the consumers for loans. More.
Earlier this month, Peter Gioia, a dedicated public servant loved by family and friends, passed away. Peter served in the Florida Attorney General’s Office for seven years, and spent many years prior in public service. Attorney General Bondi’s deepest condolences are with Peter’s loved ones during this difficult time. To learn more about Peter, click here.