TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Sid Cooper owns his own paint contracting company. He thought it was safe to leave his personal information in his car, but says he was wrong and a scammer took advantage. He lost hundreds of dollars.

"I felt terrible about it because I felt so violated," Cooper said.

'I've never had something like this happen before."

Now the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is warning companies about a new scam.

Someone will pose as a DBPR employee and ask for your personal information - targeting licensed businesses and professionals.

"It's not a common occurrence for a DBPR employee to contact our licensees to ask personal information," said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, communications director for DBPR.

Authorities say if you do get a suspicious phone call, don't give them your information, instead write down theirs, hang up and do some research.

"It could potentially lead to identity fraud or identity theft or they could even be posing as a DBPR employee and requesting fees."

As for Cooper, he said he's learned his lesson and hopes it doesn't happen to anyone else.

"I don't want to lose my faith in people but at the same time I think I need to be a little bit more personally protective."

For more information on what to look for and who to contact, go to the The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) website

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