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**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Tech Device Activation Scams

10/17/2019

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 17, 2019
Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com
 
**Consumer Alert**
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Tech Device Activation Scams

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning Floridians of a new scheme where scam artists charge activation fees for tech devices that are free to set up. Recent Better Business Bureau reports show that after purchasing electronic devices such as an Alexa, Roku, or Google Home that needs to be activated, consumers may be misled to a fraudulent activation website directing them to pay up to $100 to “activate” the device. This process may allow scammers to steal your money, credit card numbers, and/or personal information.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Advancements in technology have led to scam artists finding new tactics to steal your money. We will continue to utilize every tool at our disposal to protect Floridians in the fight against fraud. Please join us in this fight by reporting scams to FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
 
3 Tips to Avoid Device Activation Scams
 
1. Don’t give out your personal information. Scammers prey on you by gathering your personal information. It’s important to never give out personal data to people or businesses you do not know.
2. Beware of suspicious links. Be cautious of links in emails or when browsing the web. Secure websites will most likely have the padlock icon in the search window.
3. Avoid prepaid debit or gift card payments. Legitimate companies will never ask you to pay with a prepaid card. Money sent this way cannot be recovered. When in doubt, report the company to FraudFreeFlorida.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).