A Florida woman allegedly acting as an insurance agent without a license was arrested last month after an investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services Bureau of Insurance Fraud.
According to a statement from DFS, Ida Bernadette Newsome of St. Petersburg allegedly acted as an auto insurance agent without an active, valid state of Florida license.
Newsome advertised herself on Facebook as a licensed insurance agent and quoted the victims a price of $350 for full coverage on any vehicle. Once the price was agreed upon, she would instruct the victims to text her their personal and vehicle information to her phone. After Newsome received their information, she directed them to send $350 to her Cash App via her cellphone number.
Newsome was arrested on Jan. 27, 2021 and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. She is charged with acting as an insurance adjuster without a license and grand theft. If convicted, she faces up to 5 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“Impersonating an insurance agent and selling fraudulent insurance policies to scam hardworking families is appalling,” Patronis said. “I am thankful for the dedication of my fraud detectives to seek justice in this case. If you feel you have been the victim of insurance fraud, report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
DFS said anyone who has dealt with Newsome and suspects they are a victim of fraud can call the DFS Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services
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