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**CONSUMER ALERT** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Black Friday & Cyber Monday Scams

11/24/2021

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

**CONSUMER ALERT**
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Beware of Black Friday & Cyber Monday Scams
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Floridians begin their search for holiday shopping deals, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning consumers to beware of potential scams surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday and offers four tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft. Adobe estimates that the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is expected to drive $36 billion in online spending - 17% of all sales this holiday season. 
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the busiest shopping days of the year and with recent supply chain issues, many Floridians will be doing everything they can to get their shopping done earlier this year. Consumers must stay on guard and protect yourself from scams by monitoring your bank accounts for suspicious activity and always closely guarding your personal and financial information. While we all enjoy a great holiday sale, I encourage all Floridians to shop smart and verify before you buy, especially when shopping online. Visit FraudFreeFlorida.com to learn more about common scams and report fraud in your area.”
 
Four Tips to Protect Yourself from Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams

1. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be careful of unfamiliar merchants and be extra wary of items listed at prices well below those of other shops. The ultimate bargain may really be bogus or stolen goods.
 
2. Use a credit card instead of cash or debit. Credit cards offer consumer protection if things go wrong with a purchase.
 
3. Be careful of credit and coupon offers. Those last-minute deals that offer discounts in exchange for opening up a new credit account can be a trap to make you divulge financial information.
 
4. Watch your account balances. Monitor your checking, savings, credit and any others for unauthorized charges or deposits. Report any suspicious activity immediately.
 
To report fraud or learn about ways to protect yourself from scams, visit FraudFreeFlorida.com.
 
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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).