Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic impacting our state, an altogether different type of disease is emerging—scammers using the crisis to rip off Floridians.
We will not tolerate anyone taking advantage of Floridians who are simply trying to protect the health and safety of their families. My Consumer Protection Division is working diligently to identify, investigate and stop COVID-19 related scams.
You can help us by staying up to date on the latest fraud tactics.
This week, I issued a Consumer Alert outlining some of those tactics—like the text message pictured below asking people to click on a link to claim a $1,000 payment, apparently connected to a federal stimulus package.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is reporting a scam involving fraudsters calling older Americans and offering free COVID-19 test kits and seeking Medicare information.
The scariest tactic we are hearing about involves people dressed in white lab coats and masks impersonating Centers for Disease Control and Prevention workers. According to several law enforcement agencies, the imposters are knocking on doors and offering free COVID-19 tests.
Please know that the CDC is not sending people door-to-door. If a CDC impersonator shows up at your door, do not let them in. Close the door and call 911.
These are just a few of the latest COVID-19 scams we are seeing. For information on other emerging scams, click here.
Please stay safe, listen to health experts and take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In The News
Florida Coronavirus: Dozens of subpoenas issued for vendors accused of price gouging, WFLA Tampa
Attorney General issues subpoenas for price gouging on Amazon, WJXT Jacksonville
AG Ashley Moody Launches Investigation Into Report Cruise Line Downplayed Coronavirus, CBS Miami
Ashley Moody investigating ‘dangerous’ coronavirus sales pitches by Norwegian Cruise Line, Florida Politics
Beware the coronavirus stimulus cash or the home testing. They set off a scam alert, Miami Herald
'This makes my blood boil': Florida Attorney General warns of donation scams, WTSP Tampa
Florida attorney general urges residents to report price gouging, WPTV West Palm Beach
Florida legal system faces digital hurdles as COVID-19 keeps many from the courtroom, ABC Action News
‘We will aggressively pursue those ... taking advantage of Floridians’, WJXT Jacksonville
Law enforcement warn South Floridians about potential coronavirus scams, WSVN Miami
CONSUMER ALERT: Guard Against Hackers When Working from Home
Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert urging Floridians to guard against cybercrimes when working from home. To slow the spread of COVID-19, more Americans than ever before are working remotely. The increase in online activity presents more opportunities for hackers and scammers to exploit home Wi-Fi or public internet connections to steal sensitive business or personal data.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida businesses are going to great lengths to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following the advice of health experts and allowing employees to work from home. While this is a vital step to mitigate this health crisis, it creates more opportunities for hackers and cybercriminals to steal sensitive data. I’m asking all Floridians to guard against cyberattacks and take steps to ensure sensitive information is protected.” More.
Attorney General Moody Launches Investigation into Norwegian Cruise Lines Over Allegations of Dangerous COVID-19 Sales Pitches
Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a Consumer Protection investigation into allegations of misleading and potentially dangerous sales pitches by Norwegian Cruise Lines. According to reports, NCL provided its sales force with inaccurate one-liners to respond to customer concerns about COVID-19. The misleading sales scripts allegedly downplayed the severity and highly contagious nature of the novel coronavirus in an effort to close cruise package sales.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “We are in the thick of a public health crisis like our modern world has never experienced. My Consumer Protection Division is conducting an extensive investigation to get to the bottom of the disturbing allegations against Norwegian Cruise Lines. Let this serve as a warning to anyone seeking to mislead consumers during these challenging times. I will do everything within the power of this office to hold accountable those who would prey on Floridians during this health crisis.” More.
Attorney General Moody Issues More Than 40 Subpoenas Over Allegations of Price Gouging by Third-Party Sellers on Amazon
Attorney General Ashley Moody issued more than 40 subpoenas to third-party sellers in Florida accused of price gouging on essential commodities through accounts on Amazon. The subpoenas come as Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division continues to review allegations of unlawful price increases on essential commodities during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Allegations against the third-party vendors include excessive price increases on commodities such as face masks, hand sanitizers and disinfectants of up to 1,662 percent.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Floridians are searching for essential products needed to stay safe and healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, when they find these products for sale online, they often discover that the price tag makes them unattainable. This is unacceptable and unlawful. My Consumer Protection investigators are working diligently to identify, investigate and bring to justice anyone trying to exploit this global health crisis to rip off Floridians, and we appreciate Amazon’s commitment to helping us stop third-party vendors trying to use its online platform to exploit the crisis.” More.