Pinellas County, Fla. (970 WFLA) - Phone scammers have stepped up their game in posing as deputies to steal people's money, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.
Detectives say that a scammer has now managed to "spoof his phone number to make the potential victim's caller ID to show that the call coming from the Sheriff's Office non-emergency phone line (727) 582-6200. The rest of the scam is one familiar to detectives. The scammer calls a potential victim claiming that the person has an outstanding warrant for missing jury duty, and says the person must either turn themselves in or pay a fine to avoid arrest.
The scammer directs the victim to buy a pre-paid debit or gift card and give the scammer the numbers on the card, and promsises that will purge the warrant from the system.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that it "will never call citizens requesting money over the telephone. Detectives advise citizens to not give personal information or account information over the phone, and call the Sheriff's Office to report suspicious activity."
Photo by John McQuiston