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Florida State Regulators Launch Initiative to Stop Consumer Fraud

On February 5th, 2024, the Florida Record reported that state regulators have launched an initiative designed to stop consumer fraud. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is aiming for a “Fraud Free Florida. ”Within this article, our Miami FDUTPA lawyer highlights the key points consumers should know about the initiative and explain your options if you were the victim of a deceptive practice.

The Challenge: Florida Regulators Call Fraud an “Epidemic” 

Unfortunately, business and consumer fraud remain very serious problems in Florida. By some measures, our state has the highest rate of consumer fraud in the entire country. Fraud Free Florida is an initiative led by CFO Jimmy Patronis to combat fraud and prevent/address scams across the state. It coordinates efforts between law enforcement, prosecutors, private sector partners, and fraud investigative teams. The initiative focuses on tackling various types of fraud, including property insurance, workers’ compensation, public assistance, identity theft, investment fraud, cybersecurity hacks, and other matters. Notably, there is a new $25,000 reward program for tips that result in criminal conviction in fraud cases.

 Fraud Free Florida is Focused on Helping Consumers Get Ahead of Scams 

Florida regulators want consumers to take a proactive approach to fraud prevention. Fraud Free Florida is designed to empower consumers to stay ahead of scams. It seeks to provide education support and additional resources. The initiative emphasizes measures that are designed to protect Florida residents against fraudulent activities.

 Remedies for Consumer Fraud Victims (Report Matter, Civil Claim, etc) 

Were you or your loved one the victim of fraud in Florida? Here are three potential remedies for consumers who have been the victim of fraud:

  • Stop Ongoing Fraud: First and foremost, you need to protect yourself from any further losses. Immediate action must be taken to halt any further fraudulent activity. Along with other things, this may involve contacting financial institutions, freezing accounts, and putting a freeze on your credit report.
  • Report the Matter to Authorities: It is crucial to report the fraud to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and/or regulatory bodies. You may want to report consumer fraud to local police, the Florida Department of Financial Services, and/or a federal agency.
  • File a Civil Claim: Finally, victims may also pursue legal action through a civil claim to recover losses. In some cases, you may have a claim for compensation through the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). An attorney can help. Compensation may be available for the full extent of your actual losses.

 Contact Our Florida Deceptive Trade Practices Attorney Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida FDUTPA attorneys have the skills and experience to help consumers protect and assert their rights. If you have any questions about consumer fraud or any  unfair business practice more broadly, we are here to help. Contact us today to arrange your confidential case review. Our firm handles FDUTPA cases in Miami, West Palm Beach, and throughout Southeast Florida.



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