State Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert on Monday warning Floridians about a possible increase in imposter scam phone calls claiming to be from Florida law enforcement.
According to a recent report, scammers have been posing as Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies and calling local residents in an attempt to obtain personal or financial information.
“Criminals are always looking for new angles to scam Floridians, but it is extremely brazen to impersonate law enforcement in an attempt to defraud others. As the wife of a law enforcement officer, I am appalled that scammers are posing as police to steal from Floridians. If anyone receives one of these imposter calls claiming to be a local law enforcement official—ask questions, record the phone number and then look up the correct number for the law enforcement agency and report the crime,” Moody said.
Last year, Moody released “Scams at a Glance: Imposter Scams” to help consumers protect themselves from imposter scams similar to the emerging police imposter scam. The “Scams at a Glance: Imposter Scams” brochure is full of tips, including:
- Never automatically trust a number listed on caller ID, as spoofing technology allows scammers to change the display to make the call appear to be from an official office or agency;
- Do not succumb to high-pressure tactics by paying money or providing sensitive information;
- Know that a law enforcement officer or court official will never call or email demanding payment to void an arrest warrant or fine;
- If a scam is suspected, end communication, then verify the claims made with the source by calling the number listed in the phone book or official webpage; and
- Be wary of anyone who calls or emails demanding payment by wire transfer, peer-to-peer payment apps, gift cards or prepaid debit cards.