Get the latest coverage of the 2021 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.
Florida House Approves Bill Targeting COVID-19 Scams
The legislation calls for felony charges against people who use authentic-looking websites to run scams that purportedly offer access to vaccines or personal protective equipment.
The Florida House on Friday voted 113-0 to approve a measure (HB 9) that seeks to prevent scams that have taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill, a priority of House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, stems from people using authentic-looking websites to run scams that purportedly offer access to COVID-19 vaccines or personal protective equipment.
It would lead to felony charges for people who run the scams and would authorize the attorney general to seek injunctions to shut down websites or other platforms that are used to spread fraudulent information.
“This is an important piece of legislation that protects our consumers against fraud during a pandemic,” said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Ardian Zika, R-Land O’ Lakes.