Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

As long as COVID-19 remains a threat, scammers will attempt every trick in the book to exploit taxpayers and coerce them into disclosing personal information. Now, there is another emerging COVID-19 text scam that deceives recipients into disclosing personal banking information in order to receive a $1,200 stimulus check.

This latest scam impersonates the Internal Revenue Service. The scam text message states the recipient received a $1,200 direct deposit from COVID-19 TREAS FUND and requires further action for the payment to be deposited into the account. The text then directs the recipient to follow a fake phishing link.

The bogus phishing URL appears to be a state agency or relief organization’s website. However, when clicked, the URL directs recipients to a website fraudulently impersonating the IRS.

Remember, the federal government and state agencies will never require personal banking information to be disclosed via text message to receive stimulus payments. They also will never send unsolicited texts or emails requesting personal information, call with threats of jail, lawsuits or demand tax payments.

Those who receive this text should immediately report it to the IRS by sending a screenshot of the message to
Phishing@IRS.gov with the following information:
  • Date, time and time zone the text message was received;
  • The 10-digit phone number that sent the text; and
  • The recipient’s mobile phone number.
I encourage all Floridians to familiarize themselves with emerging COVID-19 scams, available on our COVID-19 resource webpage at MyFloridaLegal.com/COVID19.

If you receive any correspondence you believe to be fraudulent, report it to the Attorney General’s Office by visiting
MyFloridaLegal.com, calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or downloading the No Scam app, available in English and Spanish, on all Apple and Android devices.
Ashley Moody
Protecting Floridians
Attorney General Moody Announces $113 Million Agreement with Apple Over iPhone Throttling

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a $113 million agreement with Apple, Inc. regarding Apple’s decision to throttle consumers’ iPhone speeds in order to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones. Attorney General Moody is joined by more than 30 other attorneys general in reaching the agreement.

Based on the multistate investigation, Apple allegedly discovered that battery issues were leading to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones. Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, Apple updated software that reduced iPhone performance in an effort to keep the phones from unexpectedly shutting down.

The attorneys general allege that Apple’s decision to throttle the performance of consumers’ iPhones led to Apple profiting from selling additional iPhones to consumers whose phone performance Apple had slowed.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Countless Floridians depend on their iPhones daily for necessary professional and personal communication and pay significant fees for this service. It is essential that a widespread and trusted service provider such as Apple provide accurate and reliable information about performance issues and viable options if service is disrupted. I am proud of this action that will require Apple to be more transparent to consumers and hold them accountable for their actions that negatively impacted many Floridians.”
More.


Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution Secures Life Sentence for Child Sex Predator

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution has secured a life sentence for a Hillsborough county man that engaged in, and promoted, child sex pornography. The jury found Roger Labor guilty of lewd or lascivious molestation, two counts of use of a child in a sexual performance and 50 counts of possession of child pornography. The Honorable Michael Williams of Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit sentenced Labor to life for lewd or lascivious molestation and a total of 75 additional years for the remaining charges.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This disgusting excuse of a man will stay behind bars for life, right where he belongs. He is a predator and his actions were beyond vile and repugnant. I am so proud of the Office of Statewide Prosecution’s hard work on this case and for making sure he never victimizes a child again.” More.


VIDEO BACK THE BLUE ALERT: Attorney General Moody Recognizes Off Duty PBSO Deputy for Saving Child from Kidnapping



Attorney General Ashley Moody is recognizing Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Deputy Corey Reece for his efforts in rescuing a four-year-old child from an attempted kidnapping while off duty and on vacation in Tampa. Attorney General Moody virtually presented Deputy Reece with a Back the Blue Award for his heroic efforts.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am incredibly honored to recognize Deputy Corey Reece with a Back the Blue Award for his courageous efforts in rescuing a four-year-old child from an attempted kidnapping. The fact that Deputy Reece was off duty and on vacation during this horrific incident speaks volumes to the dedication law enforcement officers have to protect and serve, not only their own communities, but anyone in need. Thank you, Deputy Reece, for your quick action and response in saving this child from a potentially life-threatening situation. You are a hero.” More.


VIDEO: Attorney General Ashley Moody Releases “After the Storm” Scams at a Glance Brochure Amid Record-Active Hurricane Season



Amid the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record, Attorney General Ashley Moody is expanding her Scams at a Glance program to include the newest addition, Scams at a Glance: After the Storm. The Attorney General’s Scams at a Glance program is an online resource for Floridians to protect themselves against new and emerging scams and fraud. The After the Storm edition is intended to equip Floridians with tips and information on common scams that arise after natural disasters occur.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The 2020 Hurricane Season is officially the most active on record. Last week alone, Hurricane Eta impacted many parts of Florida causing flooding and damage. My office created Scams at a Glance: After the Storm to make sure scammers are one less thing Floridians need to worry about when recovering from a storm. With the information and resources included in our new brochure, we can recover from these storms and together build a stronger, safer Florida.” More.


MFCU Arrests Woman for Defrauding Medicaid More Than $15,000



Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Levy County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman for organized fraud and fraudulent use of personal identification information to defraud a Medicaid provider. Carolyn Ausherman allegedly forged fraudulent Medicaid employee service logs, defrauding the Medicaid program out of more than $15,000.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The Medicaid program provides necessary medical services to our most vulnerable citizens. To purposefully defraud this taxpayer-funded program for personal benefit is a gross injustice and exploitation of the patients dependent upon the care provided by Medicaid. I am confident my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue to work diligently to hold accountable anyone who attempts to defraud the Medicaid program and taxpayer dollars.” More.