As we continue our recovery and cleanup efforts, please visit the Emergency website for the latest information on openings and closings in Miami-Dade County.
Consumer Protection Alerts - avoid common consumer scams
Consumers are encouraged to learn about their consumer rights and how to make educated decisions.
Criminals pretend to be grandchildren in need of money for help with an emergency in a foreign country and ask that no other family members be contacted. These scammers rely on social media to find their target victims. Do not act immediately and try to reach your family members to confirm the emergency.
IRS Phone Calls
Thieves call taxpayers and alter caller ID claiming to be the IRS and demand pay for bogus tax bills, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Common tricks include urgent callback requests using phone robo-calls. Threats of arrest or deportation to intimidate and bully a victim into paying is common. If you find yourself in this situation, hang up immediately and contact the Treasury Department or call 800-366-4484.
Moving companies providing estimates without seeing home goods is considered a scam. They may refuse to provide a service or hold your belongings hostage unless you pay more money. Be sure that the moving company you are hiring is licensed by the Miami-Dade County Office of Consumer Protection and refer to the Local Moving Consumer Bill of Rights. For license and complaint information on moving companies, contact 786-469-2333.
Beware of schools that use aggressive sales practices and promise an education with no exams, easily accessible financial aid, and a guaranteed job upon graduation. Research before you enroll and ask to speak to an advisor.
A caller that tries to create a sense of urgency is most likely a scam artist. To avoid tech scams, never give control of your computer to a third party from an unsoliciatated call, don't rely on the caller ID and never provide computer passwords or financial information over the phone. If you believe you are a victim, contact the Federal Trade Commission.
Vehicle accidents are targets for tow truck companies. Beware of towing services that arrive before the police because you will be on the hook for a hefty towing and storage fees. Always ask the police or insurance company to request towing services. Vehicles towed due to parking violations have capped fines. File a complaint with Office of Consumer Protection or call our Mediation Center at 786-469-2333.
Utility Company Imposters
Phone scammers pose as Florida Power and Light (FPL) employees and target customers using fake caller ID or recorded phone messages threatening to shut off power. If you receive a strange call and are in doubt, you should hang up and call the customer service number on your monthly bill. Protect yourself from scams, fraud and imposters. Call 1-800-226-3545 or forward suspicious emails to email@example.com.
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