Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 381 • March 02, 2018
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing


Scammers will target anyone to try and make a quick buck. No one is immune, but there are steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim. Next week is National Consumer Protection Week, and I will be reaching out directly to Floridians on Twitter with tips to avoid scams.

Florida is often targeted because of our large senior population, military bases and millions of tourists. Tech support, tax filing and vacation rental scams are some of the most common schemes used to target these populations.

While the types of scams are always changing, here are a few general tips to avoid becoming a victim:

Know that if an offer seems too good to be true, then it is probably a scam;
Never give money or financial information in response to a solicitation;
Research a company or product before making a purchase;
Pay with a credit card, as credit companies often provide additional protections;
Scrutinize free trials and membership offers; and
Wait to make payment after work is completed or product has been delivered.

Finally, we cannot help if we do not know, so always report scams to my office by calling (866) 9NO-SCAM or filing a consumer complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.

My Consumer Protection Division has recovered billions of dollars for consumers in Florida and nationwide, and we continue to aggressively investigate scams targeting Floridians.

In the News
Florida AG Wants a Threat-Reporting App for Students, Government Technology
White House Gives Status Update On Opioid Emergency, WAMU

Florida AG: Scott Wants 'Full Investigation' Into Broward Sheriff Dept, Newmax

Colorado Offers Safe2Tell School App To Florida, Patch.com

Florida House approves prescription limits in opioid fight, Palm Beach Post

Florida House unanimously passes sexual harassment bill, AP

Doctor Accused of Giving Children Partial And Possibly Unsterile Vaccines, Newsweek


Protecting Floridians
Florida Participates in National Sweep to Stop Elder Fraud

Attorney General Pam Bondi, the U.S. Department of Justice and National Association of Attorneys General announced the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud abuse in history. These schemes targeted one million American citizens resulting in more than $600 million in victim losses and led to charges being brought against 250 defendants.

As part of the national sweep, the Florida Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint against a Broward County home health agency for allegedly operating a scam that is believed to have swindled approximately 50 seniors out of more than a quarter of a million dollars for supposed home health services. This complaint alleges that these consumer funds were used for defendants’ personal expenses such as mortgage payments and home improvement projects.
More.

Winter Park Periodontist Convicted for Fabricating False Insurance Claims

Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced the conviction a Winter Park Periodontist. A court found Dr. Steven Perelmuter guilty of submitting fraudulent claims and billing insurance companies for services rendered to patients. Through these fraudulently claims Dr. Perelmuter obtained more than $900,000 in reimbursements.

Throughout a seven-year period, Dr. Perelmuter obtained and used personal information from 51 individuals to fabricate dental claims. The investigation found that 17 of these individuals had never been patients of the doctor and the remaining victims were patients that were billed for services never provided. In total, Dr. Perelmuter attempted to claim an estimated $1.6 million between two different insurance providers.
More.

Volunteer Florida, Uber Announce Third Annual #SuitsForSession Capitol Service Project

Volunteer Florida and Uber announced the third annual #SuitsForSession service project on Tuesday, February 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the plaza level of the Florida State Capitol. The project will once again engage members of the Legislature, local nonprofits, the private sector, state employees, and other partners in service to collect gently worn professional attire at the Capitol on February 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. More than 3,200 donations of professional attire for job-seekers were collected during last year’s project. More.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “I am proud to support #SuitsForSession—a great campaign helping those who want to join the workforce.


Events
Attorney General Pam Bondi was in Washington D.C. this week for meetings about school safety and the national opioid crisis.

Attorney General Bondi met with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, family members of shooting victims and law enforcement to discuss school safety.

Attorney General Bondi speaking with a Washington D.C. reporter outside the White House.




Attorney General Bondi attended the White House Opioid Summit addressing the national opioid crisis and combating addiction nationwide. Full video here.




Attorney General Pam Bondi joining Governor Rick Scott and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office laying out a plan to increase school safety. Full video here.









Attorney General Bondi speaking on Fox and Friends about a new student designed app to ensure school safety. Full video here.







Attorney General Bondi on national news, discussing Florida’s commitment for safer schools and fighting opioid addiction. Full video here.




Attorney General Bondi speaking with Sandra Smith on Fox News about the White House Opioid Summit and school safety. Full video here.