TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Attorney General Ashley Moody is recognizing Utility Fraud Awareness Day by issuing tips for Floridians to avoid utility scams. Fraudsters aiming to swindle consumers may pose as representatives of utility companies, and claim immediate payment is needed or the customer’s service will be cut off—or scammers may attempt to obtain personal information from an unsuspecting consumer. Attorney General Moody wants to ensure Floridians don’t fall victim to these schemes.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Utility scammers will prey on the fear of losing an important service such as power or gas in order to elicit an immediate payment. Don’t fall for these imposter scams. If you receive a suspicious message or phone call, do not provide any personal or financial information. Instead, call the utility company directly and check on the status of your account.”
Attorney General Moody suggests Floridians use the following tips to avoid utility scams:
- Understand that scammers pressure customers to act fast, so do not rush to act on an unsolicited call or email;
- Verify information given by purported utility representatives by checking the latest bill;
- Never provide or confirm personal information to a solicitor, whether by phone, in-person or email, purporting to be a utility company representative;
- Know that utility companies will not demand immediate payment;
- When in doubt if a call is legitimate, hang up and call the utility company directly using the number listed on the company’s website;
- Be wary of anyone demanding payment by a reloadable card, gift card or cryptocurrency; and
- Authenticate the identity of someone posing as a utility representative who comes to the door. Look for company ID and logo, and know whether the visit is expected or not.
Consumers can report utility scams to Attorney General Moody’s office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or filing a complaint at MyFloridaLegal.com.
Governor Ron DeSantis Awards $8.7 Million for Hurricane Ian Recovery Efforts and Workforce Education
- State College of Florida ($2,940,000) – for the commercial driver license credentialing program.
- Florida Southwestern College (1,980,000) – for information technology credentialing programs.
- South Florida State College ($618,842) – for commercial driver license, welding, and tractor programs.
- Fort Myers Technical College ($973,000) – for diesel maintenance mechanic and Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) programs.
- Cape Coral Technical College ($200,000) – for practical nursing credentialing programs.
- $482,000 through the Governor’s Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to support credentialing program equipment needs across the five awarded educational institutions.
- $1 million to CareerSource Suncoast, CareerSource Heartland, and CareerSource Southwest Florida to provide training and support for rapid credentialing programs.
- $500,000 to the Florida National Guard Foundation.
- $125,000 to the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association which represents emergency management professionals across the state.
- $125,000 to the Collier County Community Foundation.
- $125,000 to the Charlotte County Community Foundation.
- $125,000 to Collaboratory, a community foundation helping communities across Southwest Florida.
US Senate Candidate Val Demings to Launch “Showing Up To Work Tour” in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On Friday, November 4, 2022, at 7:00 pm., Chief Val Demings will launch her statewide “Showing Up to Work Tour” for the final days of the election. During the tour, Demings will hold GOTV events in Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Broward County encouraging voters to show up at the polls.
Winning $494M lottery ticket sold in city battered by Ian
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A winning lottery ticket worth a share of a $494 million Mega Millions jackpot was purchased in a southwest Florida city hammered by Hurricane Ian late last month.
Florida lottery officials on Monday said one of the two winning tickets was purchased at a 7-Eleven in Fort Myers. The other winning ticket was bought in California.
Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 28 and has been blamed for more than 100 fatalities in the state. It was the third-deadliest storm to hit the U.S. mainland this century. More than half of the storm-related deaths in Florida were reported in Lee County, which includes Fort Myers.
Lottery winners in Florida have 180 days to claim their prize. Under a new state law, lottery winners can remain anonymous for 90 days from the day they claim the winnings, if their prize is worth $250,000 or more. Past winners have also set up legal trusts as a way to keep their identities anonymous.
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