Scams and Fraud

Concealed Weapon License Fraud

Consumers should be aware of a fraudulent website (www.concealed-license.com) that promises concealed weapon licenses for Florida.  This site is not in any way affiliated with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the only official authority to offer concealed weapon license for the state of Florida.  Do not provide this site with any personal information.  Consumers that have utilized this fraudulent site are asked to notify the department at 1-800-HELP-FLA or file a complaint.


Little Black Book of Scams

Every year Floridians lose money to scammers. Scammers target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels. The following are a few of the more common scams along with ways that you can protect yourself. Remember, an informed consumer is the best defense against fraud and deception.


Phishing

Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam, pop-up messages and emails to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.


Mortgage Assistance Relief Scams

Mortgage relief scams have reached an all-time high, with an estimated $3 billion in losses nationally, last year alone. Cash-strapped homeowners are vulnerable to unscrupulous individuals, offering promises of relief from financial burden. Scammers claim that they will negotiate with mortgage lenders to save homeowners from foreclosure, for a fee. Some are bold enough to claim affiliation with government programs. In each case, scammers make promises, take a struggling homeowner's money and then fail to deliver.


Travel Fraud

Common examples of how scammers might attempt to defraud unsuspecting consumers through the lure of selling travel / vacation packages.


Security Freeze - Credit Report

A security freeze is a notice that is placed in a consumer report (on request of the consumer) that prohibits a consumer reporting agency from releasing the consumer’s credit report, credit score or any information contained within the consumer report to a third party without the express authorization of the consumer.  


Return Call Scam

A telephone scam that has been around for many years has appeared again.  This scam involves returning calls to the 809, 284 and 876 area codes that originate in the British Virgin Islands. The caller leaves a message on your answering machine, gives their first name and leaves a message such as “Sorry I missed your call... please call me back I have something important to tell you.”   The reasons you are asked to call back vary and can include such things as a family member is ill, someone has been arrested, died or to let you know you have won a prize.


Oil Spill Scams

The following are several types of scams that could potentially be employed by individuals seeking to prey on both those affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and those willing to assist.


411 Wireless

An unfounded e-mail circulating the Internet has millions of Americans frantically trying to add their cell phones to the Do Not Call List to avoid telemarketing calls. The bogus e-mail warns recipients that telemarketers will have new rights to call cellular customers.