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**CONSUMER ALERT** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Buy a Gift Card for Mother’s Day. Don’t Purchase One for a Criminal


For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications,, 850.413.2842

CFO Jimmy Patronis: Buy a Gift Card for Mother’s Day. Don’t Purchase One for a Criminal

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With Mother’s Day this Sunday, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning consumers looking to purchase gift cards to beware of gift card scams. According to an AARP survey, nearly 1 in 3 adults indicated they or someone they know was asked to buy a gift card to pay a bill, fee or to claim a prize.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Gift cards make great gifts, but they are also are a prime target for scam artists. Don’t let these criminals take one cent of your hard-earned money. Knowing what to look for when it comes to fraud and scams can help prevent you and your family from falling victim to a financial scheme. Never give gift card information to a person claiming they are from the government or a business. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, report it immediately at”

AARP’s Tips to Avoid Gift Card Scams

• Don’t give gift-card information to callers claiming to be from government agencies, tech companies, utilities or other businesses. Only scammers ask you to pay fees, back taxes or bills for services with gift cards.

• Don't respond to an unsolicited email or text message offering you a gift card. Delete it.

• Don’t give personal information to anyone in exchange for a gift card.

• Don’t buy the top gift card right off a store rack. That’s where impatient scammers usually put doctored cards, the Better Business Bureau says.

• Don’t buy gift cards from online auction sites. They could be counterfeit or stolen, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).