Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a Consumer Alert for Floridians with loved ones residing in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Reports of these facilities seizing residents’ stimulus payments are beginning to surface nationwide. According to the Federal Trade Commission, some facility operators are seizing the stimulus payments of residents on Medicaid—justifying the seizure by claiming the facility, not the individual, is entitled to the federal benefit. CARES Act payments are classified as a tax credit, not a federal benefit, and are allocated to individuals not the facilities entrusted to care for them.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This is disgraceful and completely unacceptable. As we have seen throughout this crisis, residents in these facilities are at a higher risk of suffering and dying from COVID-19—they should not have to carry the additional burden of worrying about their stimulus money being taken by those entrusted with their care. The federal government allocated these funds to individuals during these unprecedented times. If these stimulus funds were meant for facility operators, they would have been earmarked as such.
“Please check on your loved ones living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Ask if their stimulus payments have been received. If they haven’t, ask the facility’s management if they are holding the benefits. If they are, contact my office immediately.” said Attorney General Moody
To contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office, call 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visit MyFloridaLegal.com. Complaints can also be filed with the FTC by visiting FTC.Gov/Complaint.
For tips on scams related to stimulus payments or general COVID-19 related scams, go to www.myfloridalegal.com for more information to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Since the COVID-19 emergency declaration, Attorney General Moody has issued 13 Consumer Alerts with information about emerging scams and tips to avoid fraud. To view the latest alerts and to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 related scams, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Alert webpage.
For all the Attorney General’s COVID-19 related releases and additional COVID-19 tips and resources go to www.myfloridalegal.com/covid19.
Beware of Robocall, Phishing and Imposter Scams as Florida Reopens
Attorney General Ashley Moody issued another Consumer Alert urging continued vigilance as Florida slowly starts to reopen. Many retail stores, restaurants and other businesses in select industries are already partially open. Scammers may try to exploit the now expanding marketplace to take advantage of consumers and small businesses.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As Florida businesses begin to slowly and thoughtfully re-emerge, scammers will look for ways to exploit the reopening to make a dishonest dollar. I want Floridians and business owners to be on the lookout for new scams associated with reopening and report fraud to our office.
“Scammers will likely use the same nefarious tactics that they have been using to target Floridians throughout the COVID-19 crisis—robocalls, phishing emails and imposter scams, to name some of the most common. They will just use them in different ways, utilizing new messages about the crisis to get a consumer’s attention. So, don’t be fooled. Stay alert and stay informed about government orders and actions regarding reopening as well as the latest scams.”
To guard against scams, Floridians should:
• Hang up on robocalls offering products or services. Do not press any buttons and do not offer any personal or financial information.
• Avoid clicking links on email solicitations or ads offering free COVID-19 tests, business loans or too good to be true prices on pandemic-related products.
• Never trust the number on a Caller ID display, as spoofing technology allows scammers to change the display on an incoming call so that it appears to be coming from a government entity.
• Research a website or organization thoroughly before purchasing a product, scheduling a service or providing any personal information. Reports of scammers creating fake COVID-19 websites to rip off consumers abound.
For more tips on avoiding robocall-related scams go to http://www.myfloridalegal.com.
Since the COVID-19 emergency declaration, Attorney General Moody has issued 13 Consumer Alerts with information about emerging scams and tips to avoid fraud. To view the latest alerts and to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 related scams, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Alert webpage, www.myfloridalegal.com/covid19.
Anyone who encounters a COVID-19 related scam should contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.