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CFO Patronis Deploys Anti-Fraud Strike Team to Panhandle Following Severe Weather

5/11/2024
For Immediate Release: Saturday, May 11, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

CFO Patronis Deploys Anti-Fraud Strike Team to Panhandle Following Severe Weather

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis activated his Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) which has been deployed to Leon and Gadsden Counties to protect Floridians from storm-related fraud following recent tornados and severe weather. CFO Patronis’ anti-fraud teams work to educate and inform the public on signs of post-storm fraud and ensure contractors are following Florida workers’ compensation law while conducting repairs.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Just minutes after a storm, the bad actors and scam artists will swoop in and try to take advantage of people at their most vulnerable time. It’s despicable and that’s why I have deployed my Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team to the Panhandle area, including Leon and Gadsden counties, to be on the lookout for bad actors trying to make a buck off the damage caused by recent tornados and severe weather. These anti-fraud strike teams consist of trained insurance fraud investigators with specialized knowledge of homeowners and auto insurance fraud and they will be on the ground in the impacted areas to ensure residents know the signs of fraud and lawbreakers are held responsible. If you or a loved one believes they have fallen victim to post-storm fraud, report it to my office immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”

CFO Patronis also urges residents across the Panhandle and Big Bend impacted by severe weather to contact his Division of Consumer Services for insurance assistance and help with the insurance claims process by visiting MyFloridaCFO.com.

Common Indicators of Post-Storm Fraud include:

  1. A contractor, service provider (i.e., tree removal or debris removal company, etc.), or restoration professional who offered to waive or discount your insurance deductible.
  2. A contractor, service provider, or restoration professional that has received payment and has failed to provide any repairs to your home.
  3. A contractor, service provider, or restoration professional who offered to provide repairs at a cash-only discounted rate and has failed to provide repairs to your home.
  4. A contractor, service provider, or restoration professional who pressured you to sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) and has failed to provide any repairs to your home or stopped responding to your contact attempts.

To report suspected fraud, call the Department’s toll-free Fraud Tip Hotline at 1-800-378-0445 or visit MyFloridaCFO.com.

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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).