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New Updates

  • Contact Tracing Scam Alert

 

Previous Updates

  • Warning against Fraudulent Exemption Cards. Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Justice warned about fraudulent information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the use of face masks. A fake agency, the “Freedom to Breathe Agency,” is selling cards online that claim to exempt people from wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic. The postings, cards, and flyers were not issued by the Department of Justice and are not endorsed by the Department. The cards do not carry the force of law and the "Freedom to Breathe Agency," or "FTBA," is not a government agency.
  • COVID-19 Grant Scam Targeting Seniors- As we have seen all too often, another scam targeting seniors has prompted the Florida Office of the Attorney to issue an alert. The Florida Attorney General’s Office is receiving reports from seniors offered thousands of dollars in federal grant money to stay isolated at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Scammers are contacting seniors via Facebook Messenger, email and text message to offer these sham grants and request upfront payment as insurance for the expedited delivery of grant money.  The scheme involved a mock website, since shut down, purporting to be hosted by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The site included videos of seniors endorsing the sham grant program. As part of its active and ongoing investigation, Attorney General Moody’s Office worked with law enforcement partners to have the sham website removed; yet there are concerns that scammers will simply move the site to a new location online. More information HERE
  • How to avoid scams surrounding the coronavirus. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and United States Secret Service (USSS) have released a Joint Alert with mitigations to help Americans avoid scams related to coronavirus economic impact payments—particularly attempts to steal payments, personal and financial information, and disrupt payment efforts.
    CISA encourages consumers to review the Joint Alert, Avoid Scams Related to Economic Payments, COVID-19, and www.cisa.gov/coronavirus for more information. 
  • Federal Government warns again scams. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received numerous reports of Coronavirus (COVID-19) scams against the public. Some of these scams have included text message campaigns and fake robocalls offering free home testing kits, promoting bogus cures, selling health insurance and more. Learn more about how to watch out for scams during the COVID-19 pandemic by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2UDjvRd.
  • COVID-19 price gouging hotline started. Following Executive Order 20-52, Attorney General Ashley Moody activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline for all consumers in the state. The Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline can only be activated following a state of emergency declaration issued by the Governor and covers essential commodities outlined in Florida Statute, Section 501.160.
    • For a list of the commodities covered under the state’s price gouging laws during the COVID-19 state of emergency, click here.
    • Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period. For more information on price gouging, please click here.
    • Price gouging can be reported by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com. For tips on reporting price gouging, click here.
  • Malicious website pretending to be global COVID-19 map. A malicious website pretending to be the live map for Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University is circulating on the internet waiting for unwitting internet users to visit the website. Visiting the website infects the user with the AZORult trojan, an information stealing program which can exfiltrate a variety of sensitive data. It is likely being spread via infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, and social engineering. Furthermore, anyone searching the internet for a Coronavirus map could unwittingly navigate to this malicious website. Learn more.
  • Scammers exploit US Census and COVID-19. An emerging scam involves a false claim that Floridians must respond to the 2020 Census in order to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. The scam message usually includes a link that directs anyone who clicks on it to a fake website with prompts to provide sensitive personal information. While participating in the Census is mandatory, there is no connection between completing the Census and receiving a stimulus check. For more information and tips on how to avoid scams, click here.