Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

Hurricane season is underway, and Floridians need to prepare now to make sure they have a plan, food, water and the tools to survive when a storm arrives. Following recent storms, many businesses donated essentials and helped Floridians obtain the supplies they needed to weather the storm. Sadly, we also witness unscrupulous individuals exploiting disasters to profit off their neighbors’ urgent needs by price gouging.

This week, we announced our new price gouging reporting app: NO SCAM. The app allows consumers to gather and report vital price gouging information and send it immediately to my office when they suspect price gouging.

The app will allow users in real-time to:
  • Send pictures of prices on signs and products;
  • Capture photos of receipts;
  • Write narratives of interactions with sellers of an essential commodity;
  • Report evidence of prices of identical products by different sellers in the same vicinity; and
  • Capture additional supporting documentation.
The NO SCAM app is free and easy to use. It is available through Apple and Android stores by searching NO SCAM. More than 1,500 people have already downloaded our app just days after launch. There are no imminent storms and hurricane preparation is the farthest thing from most people’s minds, but now is the time to prepare. Download this app now to become familiar with its features.

Our investigators cannot be everywhere, but with this app, and with motivated, informed consumers, we can work together to stop price gouging when safety, not sales are of the utmost importance.

Price gouging is not only immoral, it’s illegal, and this hurricane season, and every season that follows, my office will aggressively investigate and bring to justice anyone violating Florida’s Price Gouging Laws.
Ashley Moody
Protecting Floridians
BACK THE BLUE ALERT: Attorney General Moody Recognizes Martin County Deputies for Helping Homeless Veteran

Attorney General Ashley Moody presented a Back the Blue Award to three Martin County deputies for helping a homeless Navy veteran. While serving in the Community Policing Unit, the deputies get the opportunity to build close and strong relations with the local community, including the homeless population. The deputies recently had to warn a homeless camp to move off a private lot. The deputies offered assistance to all homeless individuals, but only one accepted—a homeless veteran, who was honorably discharged after serving our country.

Deputy Andrew Adams, Deputy Joe Angelico and Sergeant George Yacobellis promised veteran Greg Willis they would help him after learning that Willis had been living in the woods for four months. The deputies contacted the Martin County Veterans Services to see if Willis qualified for housing assistance. They also made calls to churches and other local agencies for resources. Due to their dedicated work, Willis is now on a path to a more productive life.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “These three dedicated law enforcement heroes exemplify the true meaning of the Back the Blue mission. They care about their community and work hard every day to build trust with the people they serve. This story is so heart-warming. These deputies made a promise that they not only kept but went above and beyond to help a veteran get his life back on track. Thank you, deputies, for taking care of our veterans, and for serving your community so honorably.”

PHOTO RELEASE: Attorney General Moody Sponsors World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Resolution

Attorney General Ashley Moody presented a resolution to the Governor and Florida Cabinet recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Proclaimed by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse in 2006, the day recognizes elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is commemorated every year on June 15 in the United States and around the world. The resolution passed unanimously.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida is home to millions of senior citizens and is first in the United States for populations of 65 years or older per capita. Our office is strongly committed to making sure seniors are protected from fraud and abuse and that they are treated with dignity and respect. That is why one of my first actions as Attorney General was to create a Senior Protection Team focused on protecting older Floridians. I am proud to sponsor and pass this resolution to raise awareness about elder abuse, and I remain committed to doing everything in my power to protect seniors.”

Attorney General Moody’s Statement on the Arrest of Former School Resource Officer Scot Peterson

Attorney General Ashley Moody released the following statement regarding the arrest of former Marjory Stoneman Douglas school resource officer Scot Peterson. Peterson is facing seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury for his inaction following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School:

“The Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting was a horrible tragedy and it is devastating to think that the loss of innocent lives of students and faculty could have been prevented. As a mother, I cannot imagine the heartbreak and pain the families of the victims and the whole Parkland community have felt every day since February 14, 2018. I want to thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Broward State Attorney's Office for investigating this tragedy and holding Scot Peterson responsible for his inaction.”

Attorney General Moody Takes Action to Stop Billing Scam

Attorney General Ashley Moody is taking action to stop a billing scam that appears to target small businesses. Attorney General Moody filed a lawsuit against United Directories, Inc. d/b/a Yellow Pages United and its owner Mark Smith. The Attorney General’s complaint alleges that the defendants sent businesses throughout the country deceptive mailers intended to look like listing confirmation notices from the Real Yellow Pages. Instead, the notices were from United Directories, an obscure online business directory with no relation to the Real Yellow Pages that charges almost $800 a year for little or no value in return. According to the complaint, once the defendants tricked the businesses into signing up for the directory, United Directories automatically charged them twice a year.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida businesses were unwittingly billed for services that they never knowingly ordered, and we are asking the court to stop the defendants from perpetrating this scam and provide restitution to the business owners harmed by these deceptive and unfair practices.” More.

PHOTO RELEASE: Attorney General Moody Embarks on Fact-Gathering Mission Regarding Dramatic Increase in Teen Vaping

Attorney General Ashley Moody is traveling the state to hear from parents, teachers, law enforcement and health experts about the growing use of e-cigarettes among Florida youth. The Florida Department of Health released a report in April, noting a 58 percent increase in the use of e-cigarettes among Florida high school students from 2017 to 2018. According to the report, nearly one in four Florida high school students now admits to vaping.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As a mother, the skyrocketing use of e-cigarettes among Florida youth deeply troubles me and I want to make sure we are doing everything in our power to protect children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, vaping is highly addictive, and e-cigarettes contain chemicals like aerosol that are known to cause serious health complications. More.
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody launched a new price gouging app called NO SCAM at a news conference in Tampa. Attorney General Moody made the announcement with Tampa Bay law enforcement leaders.

Attorney General Moody joined Governor Ron DeSantis, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for a Florida Cabinet Meeting in Tallahassee.

Attorney General Moody presenting Back the Blue Awards to Martin County deputies. Attorney General Moody thanks Sergeant George Yacobellis, Deputy Andrew Adams and Deputy Joe Angelico for building trust within their community and helping a homeless veteran get on the right path.

Next week, Attorney General Moody will host a Senior Scam Stopper Workshop in The Villages. All seniors are encouraged to attend this free event that will provide information about spotting scams and preventing fraud targeting older Floridians. For more information, click here.

Leading up to this workshop, the Attorney General is promoting a Super Senior Sleuth weekly. At the workshop, one of these Super Sleuths will receive an Advocate of the Year Award for their outstanding work in protecting seniors.

Our Super Senior Sleuth for this week is Alan Campbell, who fights senior fraud out of the North Miami Beach office. Congrats, Alan! To learn more about Alan, click here.