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**CONSUMER ALERT** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Don't Let Romance Fraud Break Your Bank Account

3/1/2019

For Immediate Release: Friday, March 1, 2019
Contact: Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com

**CONSUMER ALERT**
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Don't Let Romance Fraud Break Your Bank Account
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis warns Floridians to look out for online romance scams that are becoming more frequent on social media and dating websites. The Better Business Bureau states between 2015 and 2017, an estimated $884 million dollars was reportedly taken from consumers as a result of romance fraud.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Imposters are coming up with creative ways to prey on your trust and vulnerability as a way to steal your money. Beware of 'new friends' on social media sites trying to win your affection because their motives might be more dishonest. If they ever ask you for money via gift cards, Venmo, Cash App or a wire transfer without ever meeting you in person, it’s probably a scam.”
 
Watch Out for These Red Flags:

1. Always Traveling for Work. Fraudsters often pretend to be a U.S. citizen working overseas or a member of the armed services. This could be a sign of a scam.

2. Never Available to Meet. If your new friend always finds an excuse as to why they cannot meet you face-to-face and you’ve been “dating” for a long time, this is another warning sign that you are being scammed.

3. Asking for Fast Money.
Often, these scammers will have harrowing stories creating a financial need such as a medical emergency or other major financial setbacks.

4. Requesting Gift Cards or Money Transfers. These scammers frequently request to receive financial help via wire transfer, Venmo, Cash App or by having the victim purchase them gift cards.
 
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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).