Scam artists impersonating Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier [update]
David Altmaier


If you get an email from Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier, don’t reply.

Do notify the Department of Insurance Regulation hotline at 877-693–5236.

The department issued an alert Thursday warning that somebody is sending emails over Altmaier’s name, seeking to rip off consumers.

“A fraudulent email, appearing to be sent from OIR Commissioner Altmaier, has been sent to consumers, notifying that all of the recipient’s insurance policies have been cancelled,” the department said in a written statement.

“OIR does not send notices of cancellation, and those who receive this email should disregard the information. Consumers should not click on any links contained with the email message, and should immediately delete the email.”

The department urged anyone who receives such an email to report it via the hotline.

“Consumers can also utilize this helpline to speak directly with insurance experts who can assist consumers with the filing of post-storm claims and answer any insurance-related questions,” the department said.

This particular scam bears the hallmarks of a phishing expedition — tricking consumers into allowing access to personal financial information.

“That’s what we’re thinking, but we’re not sure. We wanted to get the word out so people are aware — so they don’t believe it,” Altmaier spokeswoman Karen Kees said.

“We received some calls to our consumer services line,” said Joel Brown, press secretary for the Department of Financial Services. The message used the department’s mailing address in Tallahassee, he said.

He advised people with questions about their policy status to contact their insurers directly.

Fraudulent schemes accompanied Hurricane Hermine as with other disasters. Attorney General Pam Bondi has fielded 35 reports of price gouging at last report, and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has said that scam artists in Taylor County are impersonating Federal Emergency Management Agency employees and demanding a $150 deposit to help file hurricane-related insurance claims.

Update: The Department of Financial Services released more information about the emails. As of Thursday, officials had received four complaints.

“These have come in from Brevard, Lee, Sarasota, and Levy counties,” Brown said. “We have instructed staff to gather additional details from consumers and track the number of calls and messages we receive regarding this scam.’

Michael Moline

Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.


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