Florida Office of Financial Regulation

Consumer Alert: Unauthorized Use of Agency Branding


For Immediate Release                               
Friday, August 19, 2016
Media Contacts:
Jamie Mongiovi (850) 410-9709
Katie Norris (850) 410-9826
Twitter: @FlFinancialReg
Consumer Alert: Unauthorized Use of Agency Branding
Tallahassee, Fla. –  The Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) was made aware of a scam involving the unauthorized use of the agency’s website banner and logo. Consumers report receiving phone calls from this scammer who followed up with an email, asking them to contact the fraudster for information about an insurance certificate issued in their name. The OFR urges Floridians to look out for this scam.
The attached email states that an insurance certificate has been issued in the email recipient’s name. The scammer urges the recipient to print the certificate, sign it and return it to receive the amount of money stated on the certificate. The scammer urges the email recipient to respond immediately. The notice contains OFR website snapshots and branding, which were used without the agency’s knowledge or authorization.
Imposter scams – scammers impersonating someone else to commit fraud – were the third-most common complaint in 2015, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Scammers often create fraudulent documents that look legitimate and may use the names of established, well-known organizations, including government agencies, to trick unsuspecting victims. This is the second scam involving OFR branding that has been reported to the agency in 2016. For more information, check out the consumer alert on another recent scam involving stolen OFR branding.   
The OFR advises all Floridians, when opening an email from an unknown sender, to beware of red flags:
• Incorrect grammar
• Multiple misspellings
• Vague details
• A sender’s email address that does not match the organization listed
Be proactive:
• Remember to independently verify the authenticity of any document through the appropriate organization
• Don’t click on any links contained in suspicious emails
• Consumers should be wary of unsolicited emails and phone calls that ask you to provide or confirm personal identifying information
• For more helpful tips, check out the OFR’s consumer alert on identity theft
If you have received this fake notice or to report suspicious financial activity, please file a complaint with the OFR online, www.flofr.com, or call (850) 487-9687.
# # #