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Tasha Carter

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**Consumer Alert** CFO Patronis: Beware of Scammers Impersonating FEMA as Hurricane Dorian Threatens Florida


Date: September 3, 2019
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services


For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com

Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com


CFO Patronis: Beware of Scammers Impersonating FEMA as Hurricane Dorian Threatens Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis warns Floridians in areas that may be impacted by Hurricane Dorian of scammers impersonating Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) personnel. Reports of these scammers are coming in from the Jacksonville area but could be widespread.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Storms bring out the best in people, but sometimes they can, unfortunately, bring out the worst in people. My office is hearing of reports of people impersonating FEMA telling them not to evacuate. FEMA does not go door-to-door or call you to offer assistance. After the storm, legitimate companies will never ask for cash up front to make repairs. Always remember, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”

5 Tips to Spot Storm Scammers 

1. Verify. Verify the identity of individuals claiming to represent government and relief agencies or insurance companies. Official personnel should display ID badges, should provide identification without hesitation. If you suspect that someone is impersonating official personnel, contact the local police department or sheriff’s office immediately.

2. Beware of Door-to-Door. Imposters often go door-to-door claiming to be FEMA representatives, asking for money to assist with the filing of federal flood claims. FEMA does not charge for this service and does not go door-to-door in this capacity.

3. Beware of Robocalls. Imposters claiming to represent FEMA typically call consumers and ask them to hang up and dial a 1-800 number to make an insurance payment ASAP to prevent policy cancellations.

4. Too Good, to Be True? It Probably is. If an offer sounds too good, it most likely is. Don’t deal with anyone who demands cash up front.

5. Don’t Sign Anything. Call your insurance agent, insurance company, or CFO Patronis’ Insurance Consumer Helpline (1-877-MY-FL-CFO) before you sign anything. 


About CFO Jimmy Patronis 

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).