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National Consumer Protection Week spreads awareness about scams

Florida AG warns of scams while recognizing National Consumer Protection Week
Posted at 4:16 AM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-06 05:00:09-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Attorney General Pam Bondi is warning Floridians about common scams in recognition of 2018 National Consumer Protection Week.

Scammers often target Florida because of its large senior population, military bases and millions of tourists. Tax scams and vacation rental scams are also common during this time of the year.

"This National Consumer Protection Week I urge Floridians to learn how to spot scams and what to do if you are targeted,” Bondi said.

Some common types of scams reported in Florida include:

Tech Support: Fraudulent pop-up ads claiming a computer is infected with malware that can be eliminated by calling the tech support number on the ad. If a consumer calls the number, the scammer will try to take remote control of the computer and hold it for ransom. For more information.

IRS Tax Scams: Scammers will call impersonating an IRS official and threaten to arrest or take legal action against a consumer for back taxes, unless the victim immediately wires funds or provides a prepaid debit card number.

Illegal Robocalling: Pre-recorded messages pitching a product or seeking financial information. Often the number is spoofed, or changed using software, to appear to be from a reputable company or charity.

Vacation Rental Scams: Fake internet postings advertising a vacation rental property not owned by the scammer. The goal is to steal the tourist’s deposit by leading them to believe they have booked a hotel or vacation house.

Military Scams: Scammers will target military members, veterans and their families promising exclusive discounts or other deals related to military service, benefits or charity. In 2017, Attorney General Bondi created the Military and Veterans Assistance Program to identify and stop scams targeting the military.

Floridians can report these scams or other fraudulent business practices to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling (866) 9NO-SCAM or filing a consumer complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.