Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

Hurricane season is here and in Florida that means hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. This week, I released our 2020 Hurricane Preparedness Guide, full of tips and tools to help Floridians get ready for a tropical storm or hurricane—should disaster strike.

There have already been three named storms this year and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season to be extremely active with 13 to 19 named storms total.

Aggravating preparedness plans this year is the COVID-19 pandemic. While Florida is currently under an emergency declaration due to the virus, consumers should know that price gouging on essential commodities protected under the current declaration differs from those covered during a hurricane state of emergency.

Some additional important hurricane preparedness tips from our just-released guide include:
  • Knowing evacuation routes, noting that some shelters may not be open this year due to COVID-19;
  • Stocking up on food, water and emergency supplies; including supplies that can help protect you and others from COVID-19—such as hand sanitizer, cleaning materials and face coverings;
  • Verifying that storm-related products are actually hurricane-proof or impact-proof before purchasing;
  • After the storm, being wary of any contractor who approaches unsolicited or offers to perform repairs at a discount with leftover supplies from another job; and
  • Researching recovery charities before giving, as solicitations increase following a disaster and so do charity scams designed to profit off the goodwill of others.
To view more tips in the Attorney General’s 2020 Hurricane Preparedness Guide, click here.

The safety of you, your family, pets and property, depends on preparing now.

Stay safe, Florida.
Ashley Moody
Protecting Floridians
Attorney General Moody Takes Action Against Two Florida Vaping Companies Marketing to Minors



Attorney General Ashley Moody took legal action against two Florida vaping companies marketing to minors and failing to properly verify the age of their customers. In October 2019, Attorney General Moody launched an investigation into 21 companies selling vaping products in Florida and using marketing tactics that appear to target minors. The actions against Creative Vape Labs Inc. d/b/a Monster Vape Labs and Lizard Juice, L.L.C. stem from the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am appalled at the marketing of these addictive products to minors by the defendants in this case. These companies’ marketing practices include labeling and advertising similar to children’s breakfast cereal products, among others, and video game giveaways, to entice our children to buy their addictive products. As Florida’s Attorney General, and a mother, I will not allow these companies, or any other vaping business, to violate the law and target our children with products that are addictive and particularly harmful to their still developing minds and bodies.” More.


Attorney General Moody’s Investigations Lead to Arrest of HVAC Repairman and Civil Court Action to Seek Restitution

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office announced the arrest of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning repairman for fraud. The arrest follows investigations by Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division and the Office of Statewide Prosecution into former Bruno Total Home Performance owner Louis Bruno. Bruno, along with nine of his former employees, allegedly used high-pressure sales and scare tactics to induce consumers to purchase services and products that were not needed. The vast majority of Bruno’s victims were seniors—some living on fixed incomes. Bruno’s schemes involved defrauding consumers in the sale of HVAC services and products and submitting fraudulent consumer loan applications.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I have said since taking office as Attorney General that I will not tolerate abuse of our seniors. Targeting seniors with fraudulent sales and scare tactics is disgraceful and criminal. My Office is taking action both civilly and criminally against these defendants to account for the fraudulent scams they perpetrated under the guise of serving consumers. The actions will help bring these defendants to justice and will seek to make these victims whole.” More.


Attorney General Moody Recognizes One Year Anniversary of Price Gouging App, Now Available in Spanish



One year ago, Attorney General Ashley Moody launched the No Scam app as another avenue for consumers to quickly and effectively report price gouging during a declared state of emergency. Through the app, the first of its kind, consumers can report allegations of price gouging in real time directly to Attorney General Moody’s Office. The app also allows consumers to attach pictures and copies of receipts more directly from smartphones when reporting suspected price gouging.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida is facing an unprecedented time as we simultaneously continue to fight the spread of COVID-19 and enter into what may be a very active hurricane season. Many Floridians may experience additional, unforeseen stress and devastation as a result of factors beyond their control, but price gouging should not be one of them. Since its inception, No Scam has helped thousands of consumers report outrageous price increases during declared states of emergency. I urge all Floridians to download No Scam now as they prepare for hurricane season.” More.


Attorney General Moody Works to Expose Illegal Robocallers

Attorney General Ashley Moody, along with the State Attorneys General Robocall Technologies Working Group, in a comments letter to the Federal Communications Commission urged the FCC to facilitate continued collaboration among state attorneys general and telecom companies to coordinate tracing back illegal robocalls to their source.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Floridians have been plagued with robocalls for years. I am urging the Federal Communications Commission to work together with state attorneys general and telecom companies in an effort to catch illegal robocalls at the source. This collaboration is essential to helping law enforcement carry out robocall investigations more swiftly and efficiently." More.
Events


The 2020 Human Trafficking Summit will be held virtually this year for the first time in its existence. We are looking forward to the opportunities that come with a virtual layout, including new and exciting speakers and the ability to view more presentations. Don’t miss out, the Summit will be active starting Oct. 6.

Registration is now open! To register and for more information, such as speaker proposal forms and award recommendations, please visit HumanTraffickingSummit.com.

This Summit is free of charge and more than 650 registrants in the first 24 hours already applied. Our state is committed to making Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking. Together, we can combat human trafficking.