TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody kicked off National Consumer Protection week Monday by launching a crackdown on scammers who target seniors.
Moody, speaking from her Tampa office, announced she's forming a Senior Protection Team.
"This team of highly-skilled attorneys and investigators will be laser-focused on identifying and eliminating fraud and abuse harming Florida seniors," she explained. "This will not be tolerated in Florida. We will do everything within the power of our office to ensure that we are using the best and the brightest, the most talented across the state, to go after these scams and these frauds and con-artists."
Florida has one of the highest populations of seniors in the country -- 5 million, according to Moody.
The attorney general said the Senior Protection Team will focus on identifying emerging scams, spotting trends and staying ahead of technology that is used to prey on seniors.
Moody was joined by seniors from the Bay Area who have been victimized by scam artists.
"I fell victim to a scam and I was very embarrassed by it. I consider myself a very intelligent person, being an educator," said Christine Schimpf, a teacher from Land O'Lakes, who she was the victim of a loan modification scam in 2008 when the recession hit. "I checked out everything. I met with the attorney at his office and I went through all, I thought, my due diligence. Well, I ended up begin scammed and the money I had paid this company to get me the modification of course disappeared, poof, it was gone."
Schimpf said she didn't recover any of her money until last fall.
Moody hopes to prevent more stories like Schimpf's and urges anyone who believes they have been a victim of a scam to call her office at 866-9-NO-SCAM.