Phone Scammers Have Changed Tactics, Pinellas Sheriff Says
Scammers are leaving messages saying they are calling from the “sheriff’s office,” according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Phone scammers are changing their tactics to get residents to give them money, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Phone scammers, who identify themselves as “Deputy Harris” with the “sheriff’s office,” are calling and leaving messages for Pinellas residents. The message says that the recipient of the call has failed to appear in court and/or show up for jury duty. The “deputy” leaves a phone number and instructs the victim to call the phone number provided immediately.
When the victim calls the phone number provided, another scammer answers the phone “sheriff’s office.” The victim is put on hold until the suspect picks up and tells the victim they missed a jury summons, confirms the victim’s personal information, and tells the victim of an outstanding warrant.
The suspect explains to the victim they can either turn themselves into the jail or post bond. The suspect instructs the victim to go to a nearby convenient store and purchase “vouchers” or pre-paid debit cards.
The suspect instructs the victim to go to 14250 49th St. N, Clearwater, which is the Pinellas County Justice Center to meet the “deputy” to pay the fine. The suspect explains to the victims that if they do not pay a fine, he will send a deputy to their home and arrest them.
Please note: The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will not call citizens requesting money over the telephone. Residents should not give personal information, agree to meet someone, or give account information over the telephone unless they are initiating the phone call and are confident they are speaking with a trusted source.
If anyone has information on this scam or has become a victim, they are asked to call the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at (727) 582-6200.
Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | Phone Scam | Tampabay News
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