- Sarasota Fraudsters
- IMG Director accused of taking $470K to take tests for college entrance exams.
- Sarasota Pharmacy owner agrees to pay back $775,000 in Medicare billings and kickbacks.
- School employee charged with charging $75K on school credit card at a casino.
- Fraudsters cash $130K in bogus checks in Sarasota.
- Sarasota locals get bilked out of over $24 million dollars in a ponzi scheme.
- Mini Sarasota Madoff, Nadel money manager, rips off investors to the tune of $162 million dies in prison at the age of 79.
- Sarasota paving company rips off customers to the tune of $35,000.
- Sarasota Sheriff’s arrest a dozen unlicensed contractors.
- Sarasota entrepreneur agrees to pay $17 million for export, smuggling violations.
- Venice lawyer gets 10 years for fraud.
- A couple from Ohio moves to Sarasota and loses their belongings to a moving company.
- Sarasota politician drops out of the race after fake college degree acknowledged.
- Sarasota cleaning lady cleans 96 year old man out of $110,000
- Sarasota Doctor charged with practicing without a license.
By: Anna Kohls
A new report shows Florida ranks number one in the nation for consumer fraud complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, with fraud losses over $80 million in 2018.
Pamella Seay, a professor of justice studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, says a large portion of the population temporarily lives in Florida which could be a reason for Florida ranking number one in the report.
“If you’re here only three months or six months out of the year… it’s super important that you verify,” Seay said. “Many of us move from out of state, we haven’t been here that long, and we trust that people who claim they’ve been in business that long, are worthy of that trust.”
The report shows more consumer complaints from an increase in government imposter scams, where scammers posing as employees of Social Security Administration or IRS told victims to “reactivate” their account or asked for personal payment information.
Seay says a government agency would usually not threaten or call anyone.
“Scammers know you’re scared of the government… Scammers know that you will believe the government is trying to come after you for something, even if they’re not,” Seay said.
Seay recommends to research before going into a business with a new person. She recommends websites like HomeAdvisor or Angie’s list .
If you are a victim of fraud, report it to the Florida Attorney General’s Office .
There are also laws in place that protect consumers from fraud. Laws known as the “cooling-off rules” allow a person to cancel certain contracts made with businesses within three days of a purchase. To find out more information, visit their website .
Sarasota County Fraud Hotline
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To help citizens and employees have a direct role, Sarasota County Government has established a toll free Fraud Hotline (855) 506-0304 where callers can report suspected fraud, waste or abuse. Calls to the hotline will remain anonymous when proper reporting protocol is followed. The Fraud Hotline is managed by an independent, outside reporting agency. If anonymity is not important to you, you may identify yourself if you wish. When you call the Fraud Hotline, the interviewer will ask you if you would like to identify yourself.
If you prefer not to use the Hotline, you may also report suspected fraud, waste, and abuse directly to the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller Fraud Internal Audit Department via mail. Please address your mail to:
P.O. Box 3079
Sarasota, FL 34230
You may also fax your inquiry to (941) 861-5704
For walk-in, please visit:
Sarasota County Administration Center
Internal Audit Department
1660 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34236