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CFO Jimmy Patronis Releases Top 7 Tips to Boost Financial Education during Financial Literacy Month


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Data breaches at major companies like Equifax, Target, Uber, and most recently Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord &Taylor and Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app will continue to happen and Florida’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) wants to ensure Floridians take steps to protect themselves from fraud and safeguard their finances. One of the top ways to protect yourself from fraud is to freeze your credit, and CFO Patronis successfully eliminated the fee imposed to do so during the 2018 Legislative Session. Knowing how to protect your finances is equally as important as knowing how to manage your finances and with Financial Literacy Month recognized in April, CFO Patronis released his top 7 easy tips to strengthen and protect your financial future. 

“Nearly half of American adults don’t have enough money saved for a $400 emergency, a third of American adults have not saved a penny toward retirement, and 16.7 million consumers were impacted by identity fraud in the United States last year,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “These are shocking statistics and numbers we can change with increased awareness and education to safeguard your finances.”

1. Freeze your credit if you’re a victim of a data breach. CFO Patronis worked to eliminate the credit report freeze fee during the 2018 Legislative Session. Freezing your credit is one of the top ways to protect yourself from identity fraud.

2. Watch your credit report. Check it for inaccuracies by setting up alerts to better protect yourself from fraud.

3. Keep your passwords secure. You can avoid opening your financial world to anyone who knows your pet's name or your birthday, and make sure to change your passwords regularly.

4. Follow the 20-10 rule when it comes to credit cards. Don’t borrow more than 20 percent of your annual net income on all your loans (not including a mortgage). Payments on those loans shouldn't exceed 10 percent of your monthly net income.

5. Set up alerts whether via a credit card’s app or via email so you don’t ever miss a payment. It also helps you know when charges are made on your cards so you can flag anything that is suspicious.

6. Keep track of everything you spend for a week and adjust your spending as needed. Make purchases with cash to help you stick to a budget and avoid impulse purchases.

7. Rank nonessential expenses and keep the ones you like the best and cut the items on the bottom of the list.

CFO Patronis’ Division of Consumer Services offers several resources and programs to help increase Floridians’ financial knowledge and protections:

Frauds and Scams – An overview of frequent frauds and scams that impact consumers.

Consumer Alerts – Sign up to receive Consumer Alerts to stay abreast of important issues that impact consumers such as insurance, current frauds, scams, disaster alerts and more.

Consumer Protections – A section that covers insurance topics to help consumers gain a better understanding and assist in making informed insurance and financial decisions.

Mediation and Neutral Evaluation Programs – If consumers have a claim dispute with their insurance company, the Department’s Mediation and Neutral Evaluation programs offer alternative dispute resolution options that may help resolve the issue prior to taking legal action.

For more information on the Department’s Division of Consumer Services, call the toll-free Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) or visit

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