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Press Release

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CFO Jimmy Patronis: Report Suspicious Activity Surrounding Hurricane Damage Repairs

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As the 2018 Hurricane Season approaches, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis reminds Floridians to contact his Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) if they suspect they may have fallen victim to insurance fraud during their recovery after a hurricane. DFAST investigations stemming from the 2017 Hurricane Season have resulted in the arrest of 22 alleged insurance fraud criminals while nearly 100 investigations currently remain open and ongoing.
“Those who seek to take advantage of others during the recovery phase of a disaster are some of the worst types of criminals we see,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “As recovery efforts continue from last year, and the 2018 Hurricane Season quickly approaches, we must continue to look out for our families, friends and neighbors by reporting suspicious activity as soon as possible.”
Possible indicators of post-storm fraud include:

- A contractor or restoration professional who offered to waive or discount your insurance deductible.
- A contractor or restoration professional that has received payment and has failed to provide any repairs to your home.
- A contractor or restoration professional who offered to provide repairs at a cash-only discounted rate and has failed to provide repairs to your home.
- A contractor or restoration professional who pressured you to sign an AOB and has failed to provide any repairs to your home or stopped responding to your contact attempts.
Consumers who have experienced or witnessed these types of activity are encouraged to reach out to CFO Patronis’ Fraud Tip Hotline by calling 1-800-378-0445. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.
The Department’s anti-fraud strike team consists of three teams that are working in areas heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma including but not limited to South Florida, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties; Southwest Florida, including Lee and Collier counties; and Central Florida, including Polk and Orange counties and Northeast Florida. They are trained insurance fraud investigators with specialized knowledge of property & casualty fraud and workers’ compensation fraud. To ensure that law-breakers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of Florida law, CFO Patronis is working directly with dedicated prosecutors housed within each of the respective State Attorney’s Offices.
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