Florida Activates Anti-Fraud Teams in Wake of Tropical Storm Alberto

May 30, 2018

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFSAT) have been deployed across the state to protect Floridians from post-storm fraud that could occur in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Alberto, according to a statement from Florida CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.

With a state of emergency now declared in all 67 counties, Patronis activated the team to be on alert for fraud in the event of major flooding and damage.

“Unfortunately, storms can bring out the worst in people,” said Patronis. “To get ahead of any attempt to take advantage of those who may need repairs done to their property, we’re activating now so we can quickly ward off fraud. With the 2018 Hurricane Season less than a week away, it’s important consumers are alert and aware of the potential for post-storm scams.”

Patronis issued the following indicators of post-storm fraud that policyholders should be aware of:

  • A contractor or restoration professional who offered to waive or discount an insurance deductible.
  • A contractor or restoration professional that has received payment and has failed to provide any repairs to a home.
  • A contractor or restoration professional who offered to provide repairs at a cash-only discounted rate and has failed to provide repairs to a home.
  • A contractor or restoration professional who pressured a policyholder to sign an assignment of benefit (AOB) and has failed to provide any repairs to the home or stopped responding to contact attempts.

Anyone who experiences or witnesses these types of activity are encouraged to reach out to Patronis’ Fraud Tip Hotline by calling 1-800-378-0445. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.

The strikes teams will be comprised of investigators working for CFO Patronis’ Division of Investigative and Forensic Services. They are trained insurance fraud investigators with specialized knowledge of property and casualty fraud. In addition to identifying active fraud operations in the field, investigators will work with each community to educate homeowners and local law enforcement about the red flags of fraud.

Source: Florida Department of Financial Services

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