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FL Update to the Government Imposter and Deceptive Advertisement Act

The Florida Government Imposter and Deceptive Advertisement Act became effective July 1, 2018. During Florida’s 2018 Legislative Session, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with the legislature to help create the Government Imposter and Deceptive Advertisement Act (GIDAA), which prohibits companies from targeting Floridians with mailings, emails or websites without prominent disclaimers stating that the sales materials are not related to any government filing and/or that the information or forms can be obtained free of charge. If forms are being offered, the disclaimer must also include the phone number of the agency that provides these documents for free.

GIDAA prohibits sending or posting online any advertisement that simulates a court summons, complaint, jury notice or other judicial document. Also prohibited is falsely representing that a company or offer is:

  • Part of or associated with a government entity;
  • Approved, authorized or endorsed by a government entity; or
  • From a government entity.

Violations could result in substantial civil fines and/or administrative fines up to $10,000 per violation. GIDAA grants individuals and businesses the right to bring an action to enforce the act and seek punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.

To view the entire bill: GIDDA

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