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**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Avoid Donation Scams During International Charity Fraud Awareness Week

10/23/2019

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 23, 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: Avoid Donation Scams During International Charity Fraud Awareness Week

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In recognition of International Charity Fraud Awareness Week, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is reminding Floridians to stay alert when dealing with charitable causes as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) highlights this global effort to help charities and donors avoid charity fraud.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Floridians have such giving hearts, but you must beware of scam artists who take advantage of charitable giving. In 2018, Americans gave an estimated $427.71 billion to U.S. charities so it's my top priority to ensure that Floridians are protected when they make donations. Always verify the charity you're giving to is reputable and never feel pressured into donating. If you feel you or a loved one have been the victim of a charitable donation scam, report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
 
4 Tips to Avoid Charity Scams:
 
1. Ask questions. Most online donation campaigns have a comment section, use this tool to ask questions about how the money will be distributed, who the money will go to, and even how much goes directly to support efforts.
2. Watch out for similar charity names. Scammers sometimes create fake charity names that are similar to the actual name of the organization with the hopes of creating confusion among consumers.
3. Pause before donating. Don’t feel pressured into giving an immediate donation. Always take your time to research the organization to ensure you are making the right decision.
4. Use safe forms of payment. Never donate to charities by gift card, wire transfer or fast cash apps such as CashApp or Venmo. Consider paying by credit card for better security.

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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).