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**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Protect Yourself from Economic Impact Payment Scams

4/16/2020

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 16, 2020
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842


**Consumer Alert**
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Protect Yourself from Economic Impact Payment Scams

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — With the economic impact payments starting to come to taxpayers this week, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is offering tips to protect consumers and urging Floridians to be on high alert for scams as they start receiving their payments. Last month, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law and will provide fast and direct economic assistance to families from the public health and impacts of COVID-19. 
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “As the economic impact payments are starting to be disbursed to taxpayers, it is critical for Floridians to be on the lookout for scam artists who are trying to take advantage of this crisis. Unfortunately, criminals thrive in times like these, and I remain committed to ensuring Floridians continue to be informed of the latest fraud and scam tactics during these trying times. I encourage you to educate yourself on the common scams and be vigilant in protecting your information.” 
 
The IRS identified the following ways to spot a potential scam:
• Usage of phrases like "stimulus check" or "stimulus payment." The official term is economic impact payment.


• Being asked to sign over your economic impact payment in exchange for receiving additional funds.


• Requests by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information. Fraudsters may claim the information is needed to receive or speed up your economic impact payment.
        o The IRS will not call you asking you to verify financial information to expedite a payment.

• Being asked by someone for personal information in order to get an economic impact payment faster by working on your behalf.


• Being mailed a bogus check and asked to call or verify information online in order to cash it.
 
To report fraud or learn about ways to protect yourself from scams, visit www.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).