Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
Hurricane Irma ripped through our state this week, leaving a path of destruction that will take months to repair. Millions are without electricity and fuel. Thousands more suffered home damage or flooding. As Floridians begin to pick up the pieces, they should be wary of common scams that arise after natural disasters—including: debris-removal, tree-service, home-repair, disaster-relief and water-treatment scams.
To guard against scams, research a company or contractor, ask for references and get multiple quotes before signing a contract. Beware of any unsolicited offers or contractors claiming they can perform repairs at a discount with leftover supplies from another job. Never pay the full amount up front and do not make final payment until completely satisfied with the work performed.
Additionally, the state of emergency remains in effect statewide and that means Florida’s price gouging law still applies to anyone selling essential commodities or services. Anyone who suspects price gouging or any scam should call my office at (866) 9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.
Throughout this state of emergency, safety has been our top priority. Tragically, eight lives were lost at a Florida nursing home in Irma’s aftermath. This tragedy is under investigation, but it highlights how fragile life is—especially for the very young and very old. If you know someone without electricity, please check on them regularly and if a life is in danger, call 911 immediately. Working together we can protect each other and rebuild our communities.
One Million Bottles of Water Headed to Florida, Selling for $2.97 a Case
Attorney General Pam Bondi thanked Home Depot for sending 45 tractor trailers containing disaster-relief supplies to Florida communities impacted by Hurricane Irma and pledging even more supplies before the end of the week. Millions of Floridians are still without power and thousands more have been displaced by flooding or storm damage. Attorney General Bondi continues to work with businesses to help Floridians get much-needed supplies and avoid price gouging.
“We will go after anyone drastically raising prices to take advantage of Floridians during this state of emergency—but another way to guard against price gouging is to increase the supply of disaster-related goods in hard hit areas. That is why I am grateful for our good businesses like Home Depot that are rushing essential supplies to Florida and keeping the price of those items stabilized,” said Attorney General Bondi. More.
After Irma, Beware of Price Gouging, Disaster Scams and Looting
As Tropical Storm Irma continues to move through Florida, Attorney General Pam Bondi is warning those in impacted areas to guard against price gouging, contracting scams and looting.
“Irma is still moving through Florida and already we are hearing reports about looting and robbery. This is disgraceful and anyone who steals from Floridians in this time of crisis will be caught and prosecuted,” said Attorney General Bondi. “My office and law enforcement continue to work tirelessly to protect Floridians, but citizens can help by taking steps to avoid being victimized.”
After a natural disaster, consumers should be wary of tree service scams, building and home repair scams, disaster relief scams, and water testing and treatment scams. If you suspect criminal activity such as looting, robbery or any violent crime, call 911 immediately. More.
Attorney General Bondi’s Statement on the Passing of Hardee County Sheriff’s Deputy and Corrections Sgt.
Attorney General Pam Bondi released the following statement regarding the passing of Florida Department of Corrections Sergeant Joseph Ossman and Hardee County Sheriff’s Deputy Julie Bridges:
“My prayers are with the families of Sgt. Ossman and Deputy Bridges who lost their lives this morning serving their community during this State of Emergency. Sgt. Ossman and Deputy Bridges served our state for many years, taking risks every day to ensure the safety of others. The two officers’ vehicles collided in a tragic accident while they were out working to protect our state."
Attorney General Pam Bondi with Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee and Colonel Chad Chronister getting ready to board a helicopter to assess the damage from Hurricane Irma.
Attorney General Bondi working alongside first responders and emergency workers at the Hillsborough County Emergency Operation Center.
Attorney General Bondi in Fort Myers with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.
Attorney General Bondi also in Fort Myers with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Governor Rick Scott, and FEMA Director Brock Long.
A convoy of 45 Home Depot trucks containing disaster-relief supplies. The Home Depot trucks carried cases of water, plywood, generators, and electrical cords, among other items to areas hardest hit by Irma.. A million bottles of water are expected before the end of the week and the Home Depot is selling the water for less than three dollars a case.
Attorney General Bondi thanks FEMA for sending lumber and fuel to Florida to help with recovery.