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The Villages
Saturday, September 30, 2023

Scammers attempt to exploit tragedy in wake of hurricanes

Ashley Moody
Attorney General Ashley Moody

This week, Floridians endured the wrath of Hurricane Idalia. The storm made landfall as a dangerous Category 3 hurricane Wednesday morning in the Big Bend region.

The wreckage left by Idalia is truly devastating, leaving many communities in ruins that will take months to recover fully. But Floridians are resilient; and while visiting Dixie, Levy and Taylor counties, I heard many inspiring stories of Floridians coming together and rebuilding immediately after the storm.

Unfortunately, we still need to remain alert, as scammers may try to exploit this tragedy to rip off Floridians through contractor fraud, debris removal scams, price gouging or even looting. I have already been in touch with local law enforcement and state attorneys in the hardest hit areas of our state. We will not allow criminals to exploit this crisis to target Floridians trying to rebuild their lives. 

My office also issued a Consumer Alert with information for Floridians to help avoid contractor fraud, FEMA impersonation scams and other disaster-related schemes. To view our Consumer Alert, click here.

Our Scams at a Glance: After the Storm brochure can also help. This resource provides tips to avoid scams involving repairs, tree services, water testing and treatment. To view the brochure, click here.

Also, please know that our Price Gouging Hotline remains active in the counties covered under the declared state of emergency. Anyone who suspects price gouging can report it to my office by using the No Scam app, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM. 

Law enforcement, the National Guard and emergency personnel are working around the clock to help those in need of assistance. I am so grateful for those who have left their home to help Floridians in their time of need. We will get through this difficult time together and come out of it stronger. 

Ashley Moody is attorney general of Florida.

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