Summertime is upon us

Summertime is upon us and that means that there are only a few short months left before the mid-term elections. During this time, many candidates will present their philosophies and ideas to the people about how they will serve them and improve the efficiency of their government. For those of us seeking re-election, one of the most common questions we get is, “what have you done so far?” It is a fair and direct question that can be answered in different ways. Today, I have chosen to highlight some of our biggest victories and the recognition that your Senate seat (I just sit in it for you) has received from advocacy groups and organizations from across the State of Florida.

In 2017, your Senator was recognized as the Legislator of the Year from the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) in recognition of the service and dedication to the children of Florida. The Florida Coalition for Children’s mission is to advocate on behalf of Florida’s abused, abandoned, neglected, and at-risk children, and to support the agencies and individuals who work on their behalf. Each year, this organization helps over 50,000 children and families in crisis. I am proud to work alongside this great organization. [Read more…]

Attorney General Bondi’s Weekly Briefing

6/16/18

Florida is home to more than three million seniors. Many retire to Florida, bringing with them a lifetime of memories, wisdom and their life savings. Too often scammers target our seniors in an effort to steal their hard-earned retirement money. This is despicable.

Our seniors deserve honor and respect. They served in WWII and Korea, made the economy boom and played a major role in strengthening our state and nation. Anyone who preys on these great citizens in their golden years is lower than dirt, and my office will aggressively investigate anyone targeting them.

Just this week, working with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, we stopped a scam targeting Spanish-speaking seniors in grocery store parking lots. The scammers claimed to have a winning lottery ticket that they could not claim because of immigration status. [Read more…]

Gov. Scott: 40-Day Red Snapper Season Starts

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With Florida’s red snapper season beginning this Monday, June 11, Governor Rick Scott encourages Floridians and visitors to take full advantage. Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World and recreational saltwater fishing contributes $8 billion annually to Florida’s economy. Fishing is just one of Florida’s incredible natural treasures. Florida’s fishing, like the state’s world-renowned beaches, attract millions of visitors to the Sunshine State every year and led to Governor Scott announcing this week that Florida experienced the highest quarter ever for tourism with more than 33 million visiting the state in the first quarter of 2018. Also, last week, Governor Scott announced that this Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, are license-free freshwater fishing days in Florida.

Governor Scott said, “Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World and now is the perfect time to get outdoors and go fishing. I am proud that Florida’s world-class fishing continues to attract visitors from around the world, fueling our incredible tourism industry which supports more than 1.4 million jobs across our state. I encourage all Florida families and visitors to spend time with their loved ones this weekend enjoying Florida’s beautiful outdoors and head out for red snapper next week.” [Read more…]

IRMA CLEANUP

Removal, Omits Context and Facts

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – CBS-Miami ran a story yesterday that is critical of the state’s effort to clear debris and reopen US 1 in the Florida Keys following Hurricane Irma. This story got it wrong on debris removal, and omitted facts.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Let’s not forget, the Florida Keys, a chain of islands with only one way in and one way out, took a direct hit by a Category 4 hurricane. It’s easy for these vendors to look back and say they would have shown up and completed the work for cheaper, but in the days following the storm, they were clearly over leveraged and did not have the people or equipment to fulfill their commitments. I will never let special interests get in the way of storm recovery. We sent additional resources to get the job done for a community that needed help and given a choice, I would do the same thing again. [Read more…]

Social Security Combined Trust Fund Reserves

Social Security Combined Trust Fund Reserves Depletion Year Remains 2034 Says Board of Trustees

Disability Fund Improves by Four Years

The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds.  The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as projected last year, with 79 percent of benefits payable at that time.

The OASI Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in late 2034, as compared to last year’s estimate of early 2035, with 77 percent of benefits payable at that time.  The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2032, extended from last year’s estimate of 2028, with 96 percent of benefits still payable. [Read more…]

Florida AG Pam Bondi Briefing

Scammers are always looking for new schemes to steal your money. They will even go as far as impersonating government officials or law enforcement. Recently we received complaints from consumers targeted by imposter scams—some involved scammers impersonating officials from my office.

These scammers typically request a wire payment to stop some non-existent state action or they seek social security numbers or other personal information. One common imposter scam involves a caller claiming to be law enforcement. They target grandparents claiming a grandchild is in jail. The scammer then requests a money transfer or prepaid debit card as bail.

If you receive one of these calls or an email seeking money claiming to be from my office, the IRS or some other government agency, do not respond. Instead call the agency directly.

Here are a few other common types of imposter scams:

Charity Scams: Imposters pose as representatives of a legitimate charity or espouse a fictional charity in order to solicit funds.

Lottery Scams: Scammers claiming to be with the state lottery, other government agency or a private law firm call or email claiming you won the lottery and must make a payment to claim the price.

Utility Scams: Caller claims to represent a utility company and threatens to shut off utilities if a payment is not made immediately.

If you are a target of these or any other scam, please contact my office at MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling (866) 9-NO-SCAM. Working together we can protect Florida’s consumers

 

How to Protect Yourself: Small Business Scams

Source: Florida Attorney General’s Office

Small businesses have increasingly become the target of scam artists who use their knowledge of small business practices to fraudulently induce these businesses to pay for services never performed or for products never delivered. These scam artists use a number of different techniques which include: sending phony invoices for items never ordered; using prizes as an inducement to sell overpriced office equipment and supplies; sending phony invoices or correspondence appearing to be from the Florida Division or Corporations or another government entity; and sending phony yellow page advertisement renewal forms which are actually contracts for advertisement in other directories. Consider the following to avoid small business scams: [Read more…]

Constitution Revision Commission

 In 1968, Florida became the only state to allow for its state constitution to be revisited and changed through a regularly scheduled commission called the Constitution Revision Commission.  Once every 20 years, Florida’s Constitution provides for the creation of a 37-member revision commission for the purpose of reviewing Florida’s Constitution and proposing changes for voter consideration.  The Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) meets for approximately one year, traveling the State of Florida, identifying issues, performing research and possibly recommending changes to the (State) Constitution.  Any amendments proposed by the CRC would be placed on the 2018 General Election ballot.  You can visit their web site at flcrc.gov to see all of the proposed Commission and Public Proposals, the full text of each proposed ballot amendment and additional information about the commission. [Read more…]

Florida Attorney General Weekly Update

Drug abuse destroys lives, divides families and jeopardizes the safety of our communities. As Florida’s Attorney General and a former state prosecutor I have seen the destruction it causes firsthand. I have also seen families reunited and lives changed with the help of good people who stand up to fight against drug abuse and addiction.

This week, I was humbled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Drug Free America Foundation for the small role I’ve played in fighting drug abuse. We have a lot of great partners in this fight, and Florida exemplifies how local, state and federal law enforcement can work in harmony to stop drug traffickers.

My office has worked with these great law enforcement partners in recent weeks on cases resulting in 25-year prison sentences for drug dealers trafficking dangerous opioids in Florida. This weekend we are asking for your help in combating the national opioid crisis by participating in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. [Read more…]

Medicare Scams

PLEASE BE AWARE OF THESE FOLLOWING SCAMS RELATED TO THE NEW MEDICARE CARDS THAT WILL BE SENT STARTING IN APRIL 2018 UNTIL APRIL 2019.  PLEASE SEND THIS TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO ARE ON MEDICARE OR WILL BE SOON.

Five Tips To Avoid The New Medicare Card Scams

Perhaps you haven’t heard, but starting in April 2018, Medicare will issue new cards to all Medicare recipients. The new cards will no longer use Social Security numbers. Instead, members will be identified by a unique, eleven-character ID composed of numbers and letters.

The reasoning is sound. The old cards contained social security numbers and getting rid of those numbers should help reduce fraud. According to Medicare, the new cards will be sent automatically, so there’s no need to do a thing. Unfortunately, that’s the end of the good news. [Read more…]