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**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of 'Spear Phishing' after $700,000 Cyberattack in Naples


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With recent reports of a $700,000 “spear phishing” attack targeting the City of Naples, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning local governments, business owners and consumers to be on guard for targeted phishing schemes. Spear phishing is an email or text message spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to sensitive information.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Businesses, consumers, and even government entities  should be on high alert for scams. If you feel that you have been the victim of fraud, please visit my website at to report it immediately. The more these scams are reported, the greater chance we have to bring these criminals to justice.”
4 Tips to Avoid Phishing Scams:
1. Learn how to recognize phishing scams. Phishing scams are where scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts.
2. Don’t be tricked by creative emails and text messages. Phishing emails and text messages may look like they’re from a company you know or trust. Scam artists are very creative and they may use texts or emails that look like they’re from a bank, a credit card company, a social networking site, an online payment website or app, or an online store.
3. Verify the sender’s identity. Look up the website or phone number of the company or the person contacting you. Call the company or person directly. Use a number you know to be correct, not the number in the email or text. Read them the message you received to ensure it is legitimate.
4. Protect yourself. Always keep your computer security up-to-date and back up your data often. Consider multi-factor authentication — another step to verify who you are, like a text with a code — for accounts that support it. Change compromised passwords right away and don’t use them for any other accounts.

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