Florida's Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, has announced the formation of anti-fraud strike teams that will soon be deployed across the state.
The goal, according to the CFO's office, is to protect Floridians from post-storm fraud.
Patronis says three teams will work in areas heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma: South Florida, including Miami-Dade and Monroe counties; Southwest Florida, including Lee and Collier counties; and Central Florida, including Polk and Orange counties.
To ensure that law-breakers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of Florida law, CFO Patronis says he is working directly with dedicated prosecutors housed within each of the respective State Attorney's Offices.
The strike teams will be comprised of investigators working for the Department of Financial Services' Division of Investigative and Forensic Services.
They are trained insurance fraud investigators with specialized knowledge of property and casualty fraud and workers' compensation fraud.
In addition to identifying active fraud operations in the field, investigators will work with each community to educate homeowners, homeowners' associations and local law enforcement about the red flags of fraud.
Floridians can report suspicious behavior by calling the Department’s anti-fraud hotline at 1-800-378-0445, or by contacting one of the Department's regional insurance fraud offices.
Callers are asked to provide as many details as possible, and callers may request to remain anonymous.