Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 6 • Feb. 15, 2019
Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

Tax season is here, and this week, our office issued a Consumer Alert to warn Floridians of a new phishing tactic that could wreak havoc on people preparing their taxes.

The tactic, called conversation hijacking, involves scammers accessing an ongoing email conversation and sending a new message containing a malicious link or attachment—giving the appearance that the message is from a trusted source. Victims clicking on the link or opening the attachment are then prompted to provide personal information that could be used to submit fraudulent tax returns.

Floridians should remain cautious. Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments that seem suspicious. Never share passwords or login information with anybody. Change passwords frequently—using numbers and special characters.

For more tips to guard against conversation hijacking scams, click here.

As technology evolves, so do the methods scammers use to bypass security and trick users into compromising sensitive information. Conversation hijacking attacks are just the latest trick being used to steal people’s identities and access their financial information.

As Attorney General, I will work with our Consumer Protection Division to stay ahead of the trends and technologies scammers use to commit identity theft and steal from Floridians.

Please take steps to protect your personal and financial information. If you encounter a scam, please report it to my office by visiting or calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.

In the News
Florida attorney general warns of tax phishing attack, WJXT

State leaders warning about sophisticated e-mail scam, WAWS

CRIME WATCH: Man Arrested in Connection With Florida Bank Fraud and Identity Theft, Space Coast Daily

Plant City Native Ashley Moody Now Serves All Floridians As Attorney General, Osprey Observer

Tests On Backlogged Sexual Assault Kits Nearly Complete, WUSF

Satanic Worshipper, Florida Felon Nicknamed ‘The Devil’ Sentenced 30 Years In Prison For Drug Trafficking, Space Coast Daily

Protecting Floridians
Florida Nearing Goal of Eliminating Backlog of Previously Untested Sexual Assault Kits

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Florida is nearing its goal of eliminating the state’s backlog of previously untested sexual assault kits. The latest Sexual Assault Kit Progress Report released Monday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows that 7,137 backlogged kits have completed the testing process as of the end of 2018.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This is very encouraging news as the state continues to make tremendous progress toward this important goal. I want to thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their hard work and great progress to eliminate the backlog of previously unprocessed sexual assault kits. I also want to thank former Attorney General Pam Bondi for leading this important public safety issue.” More.

Former Fugitive Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking

The Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution secured a long prison sentence for a former fugitive caught and arrested after more than a decade on the run. Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge Richard A. Howard sentenced Stephen Bishop Hall to 30 years in prison for drug trafficking charges that Hall pleaded guilty to in 2006.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The long arm of the law caught up with the fugitive in Thailand. This case should serve as an example to anyone trying to evade justice. We will find you and you will be held responsible.” More.

Man Arrested for Using Stolen IDs in Elaborate Tax Deed Scam

The Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested a man on charges related to using stolen identities to submit fraudulent claims for surplus tax deeds. The elaborate tax deed scheme occurred between August 2016 through January 2018. The crime spree spanned 10 counties, resulting in $871,264 in losses to individuals and businesses in Florida.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This elaborate plot to steal tax deed surplus money incorporated identity theft and forged documents across 10 Florida counties. According to the investigation, the defendant illegally posed as different individuals representing numerous businesses to claim money for properties that did not belong to him. We will continue to work with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute attempts to steal from Floridians using identity theft or any other illegal tactic.” More.

Attorney General Ashley Moody delivered the keynote address at a Florida Fraternal Order of Police event in Fort Lauderdale.

Attorney General Moody honoring former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Robert R. Dempsey at a ceremony to rename FDLE headquarters in Commissioner Dempsey's memory.

Attorney General Moody speaking to children and parents of the Boy Scouts of America inside the House Chamber at the Florida State Capitol.

Attorney General Moody talking with academy students and faculty from the Lutz Preparatory School. The eighth-grade students visited Tallahassee to learn more about state government.

Attorney General Moody joining Governor Ron DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis, Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez, and Parkland students and parents to announce a Statewide Grand Jury on school safety. The Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will lead the grand jury to investigate actions by school districts across Florida to ensure they are complying with new school safety statutes.

Attorney General Moody meeting with Florida Department of Law Enforcement Chief of Forensic Services Lori Napolitano and Senior Crime Intelligence Analyst II Debbie Abney. The Attorney General and FDLE are working together to spot trends and utilize technology to better protect Floridians.

Attorney General Moody meeting with Mexico Beach Chief of Police Anthony Kelly to discuss recovery efforts following Hurricane Michael. Mexico Beach in Bay County ended up being one of the hardest hit areas in the state.