WUFT News

DCF warns about public assistance fraud

By on February 25th, 2013

The Department of Children and Families is concerned with websites that seek personal information to help fill out applications for public assistance benefits.

DCF public information officer John Harrell said the department is concerned that these websites are scams that could make unauthorized purchases on credit cards, access bank accounts or steal clients’ identities.

“We just don’t like seeing these scam artists take advantage of people who are struggling,” he said.

DCF press secretary Erin Gillespie said the DCF has received several calls in the past week about people who have had to give their credit card information.

“We just want people to know that you never have to provide that kind of information to apply for public assistance, like food stamps,” she said.

Gillespie said these paid advertisement websites can look official and have mimicked the DCF logo before.

Asking for information is not illegal, Gillespie said, but using the data for fraudulent activity is.

She said she did not know if the information taken by these sites has been used fraudulently.

“Our clients generally don’t have extra money lying around,” she said. “We want them to know not to be fooled by these websites.”

Harrell said scams have been around for decades, but the Internet has made it easier to get this kind of information.

The official DCF website never asks for personal information like credit card numbers, Harrell said. People who think their information has been compromised should contact local law enforcement.


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

adfasdf11

Marion County Board Member Removed After Facebook Post

Marcel “Butch” Verrando, an appointee to the Industrial Development Authority, has been removed from the board after a racially-charged Facebook post. Verrando was removed after a regularly scheduled meeting on May 19.


Breaking News: Feds Say Florida Could Get $1B For Low Income Pool

A key Florida health care program will likely receive an extra $1B from the federal government this budget year. The new amount offered for the Low Income Pool would enable Florida to retain Medicaid investment.


Florida Tourism Reaches A Peak

Tourism in Florida is at an all-time high. The amount of visitors in the first quarter of 2015 is up 6 percent from the previous year.


Police: Man Told Officers ‘Go Ahead And Kill Me’ In Shootout

An 18-year-old man was shot and killed by St. Petersburg officers after he shot a man and then shot an officer in the leg. Austin Goodner had previously been arrested for aggravated battery.


First Magnitude is currently allowed to sell 128-ounce growlers (left) or 32-ounce growlers. But starting July 1, SB 186 will allow them to sell 64-ounce growlers.

Florida Governor Signs Growler Bill

Gov. Scott has signed a bill into law that will allow the sale of 64 ounce refillable bill containers known as growlers. This makes Florida the 48th state to allow this size growler to be sold.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments