Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida Panhandle this week, leaving a path of destruction that will take several months to repair. Millions are without electricity. 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. Never pay the full amount up front and do not make final payment until completely satisfied with the work performed. If anyone suspects criminal activity such as looting, burglary or violent crime, they should call 911 immediately.
For more tips about how to avoid scams, click here.
Additionally, the state of emergency remains in effect and that means Florida’s price gouging law still applies to anyone selling essential commodities or services in areas covered by the declaration. Anyone who suspects price gouging or other scams should call my office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.
Throughout this state of emergency, safety has been our top priority. Even though the storm has passed, danger still looms. Trees weakened by the storm can still fall, downed power lines can still kill, and heat and hunger pose serious threats. Please stay safe and if you know someone without electricity, please check on them regularly.
In closing, I would like to thank Governor Rick Scott for his leadership and hard work keeping Floridians safe throughout Hurricane Michael.
Florida Launches Suspicious Activity Reporting App for Students
Attorney General Pam Bondi, along with Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen and Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, announced the launch of Fortify Florida, a suspicious activity reporting app. The app is now available to students across the state.
During the final weeks of the 2018 Legislative Session, Attorney General Bondi worked to have language included in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act to fund the development of a mobile suspicious-activity reporting tool that allows students and the community to relay information anonymously concerning unsafe, potentially harmful, dangerous, violent or criminal activities, or the threat of these activities, to appropriate public safety agencies and school officials. More.
Attorney General Bondi Activates Price Gouging Hotline as Tropical Storm Michael Approaches
Attorney General Pam Bondi activated Florida’s price gouging hotline for consumers in the Panhandle and Big Bend. Florida’s price gouging law applies to sales within counties covered by the declared state of emergency.
State law prohibits extreme increases in the price of essential commodities, such as food, water, hotels, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment, needed as a direct result of an officially declared emergency. More.
This week, Attorney General Pam Bondi along with Florida law enforcement unveiled FortifyFL, a suspicious activity reporting app for students. The app is available for download. Learn more at GetFortifyFL.com.
Attorney General Bondi on WTVT Fox 13 in Tampa with Russell Rhodes, stressing that consumers should watch out for price gouging and scams following Hurricane Michael. To see the interview, click the image below.
Attorney General Bondi was also on national news providing up-to-date information about the impact of Hurricane Michael. Linked below is Attorney General Bondi’s interview with Martha MacCallum about what residents should do to stay safe.
Attorney General Bondi talking with FOX Business anchor Maria Bartiromo about Hurricane Michael. Click the photo below to watch the interview.