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The Key West Citizen
Monroe County residents report local law enforcement phone scam
By By CITIZEN STAFF,
Numerous Florida Keys residents recently reported scammers posing as Monroe County Sheriff’s Office members asking for money or making threats about fake arrest warrants.
These criminals are using the names of real Sheriff’s Office members and often use phone numbers that appear real on caller ID, according to a news release from Sheriff’s Office spokesman Adam Linhardt. They also use computer software that may mimic the voice of a real public official or loved one.
In the latest case, scammers are posing as Sheriff’s Office Maj. Tim Age. In the past, scammers have even posed as Sheriff Rick Ramsay, Linhardt said.
Law enforcement will never call you asking for money via gift cards — a sure sign you are being scammed — or money via an electronic financial transfer network such as Zelle or a mobile payment service such as PayPal or Venmo, according to Linhardt.
Phone scams often involve criminals posing as law enforcement officers, utility workers, insurance adjusters, lawyers and computer or business professionals. The thieves often ask for information such as the victim’s full name, address, passport, phone number and other personal information, as well as money for fake administration costs.
Always hang up and contact the government organization, family member or company with whom the caller claims to be affiliated, Linhardt said, advising to hang up whenever you are asked for large sums of money over the phone.
Lindhardt also suggested calling the nearest Sheriff’s Office Substation to report the scam.
For a list of Florida Keys substations, visit http://www.keysso.net/locations.