MyFloridaCFO, May 22, 2023
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued a proclamation recognizing the week of May 22-26 as Contractor Fraud Awareness Week, in partnership with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). This year’s theme for the anti-fraud recognition week is “If you didn’t request it, reject it!”
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “The 2023 Hurricane Season starts next week, and Contractor Fraud Awareness Week serves as a reminder to all Floridians to be on the look out for fraud and scams and never let your guard down. Following storms, bad actors and unscrupulous contractors come out of the woodwork offering storm victims the world if they’ll just sign on the dotted line. Don’t take the bait! Always do your research before signing anything and contact your insurance agent or company first. Insurance fraud can have devastating consequences for you and your family and stifle your recovery following a storm. It also raises insurance rates on policyholders statewide. Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. If you or someone you know is suspicious of fraudulent activity, please contact my office at FraudFreeFlorida.com. Thank you to the NICB for their partnership in educating Floridians on the pitfalls of contractor fraud and their support in working to hold fraudsters accountable in Florida.”
National Insurance Crime Bureau President and CEO David J. Glawe said, “Catastrophic events impact millions of Americans every year, including those in Florida, and we are especially grateful to CFO Patronis for helping highlight this important issue. From hurricanes to floods and everything in between, these events are often scary and life changing. But what makes these events even worse is what happens afterward as homeowners affected by these natural disasters are targeted by dishonest contractors. Often before the flood waters recede or rescue operations are complete, unscrupulous contractors prey upon individuals who are at their most vulnerable. Before hiring anyone, call your insurance company first. If you didn’t request it, then you should reject it.”
Read the Full Proclamation Below:
WHEREAS, each year, Floridians face catastrophic events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and other natural disasters, all of which carry the potential to cause serious damage – or even worse, total destruction – to private property and homes; and
WHEREAS, following disasters, stressed and strained homeowners are vulnerable to predatory practices from dishonest contractors fraudulently inflating repair or rebuilding costs; and
WHEREAS, predatory practices by nefarious contractors have increased costs for consumers by driving up insurance premiums and forcing some insurers to reduce their exposure; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative that an effective public outreach campaign highlight the various types of contractor fraud schemes to help educate consumers on how to identify and avoid such schemes; and
WHEREAS, the National Insurance Crime Bureau encourages Floridians to get at least three written estimates, check contractor credentials, and work closely with insurers during the entire rebuilding process when hiring a contractor; and
WHEREAS, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, in collaboration with its local and state partners in Florida, including law enforcement, first responders, legislators, and state officials, are committed to educating Floridians about predatory practices by dishonest contractors.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshall of the State of Florida does hereby proclaim May 22 through May 26, 2023, as
CONTRACTOR FRAUD AWARENESS WEEK
and encourage the citizens of Florida to become familiar with contractor fraud and participate in the various programs focused on bringing awareness to contractor fraud.IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Chief Financial Officer of the State of Florida has hereunto subscribed his name on the 22nd of May, 2023.