Manatee Sheriff Rick Wells Warns of Phone Scam


Manatee Sheriff Rick Wells Warns Of New Phone Scam

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office is warning of a new scam involving people trying to pass themselves off as sheriff's deputies.

"If you receive a call from someone saying they are a Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputy, there is a warrant for your arrest,and you must pay around $1,000 or more to make it go away, it's a scam," the sheriff's office cautioned Tuesday.

The sheriff's office has received reports from "several citizens" who said they received such calls.

"The sheriff's office will not call to say deputies are coming to arrest you, and will never ask for any type of payment over the phone," the spokesperson said. "Be careful not to fall for this or any other potential phone scam."

Scammers often use fake caller ID information to trick people into thinking they are calling from a government agency, police department, sheriff's office or trusted company.

"The practice is called caller ID spoofing and scammers don't care whose phone number they use," the agency spokesperson said. "Don't rely on caller ID to verify who's calling. It can be nearly impossible to tell whether the caller ID information is real."

The sheriff's office offered the following tips for people who receive a suspicious call:

If you get a strange call from the government, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the agency's official website for contact information. Government employees won't call out of the blue to demand money or account information.

Don't give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information if you receive a suspicious call.

Don't wire money or send money using a reloadable card. Never pay someone who makes an unsolicited call even if the name or number appears to be from an official agency or police department on caller ID.

· If the caller pressures you to act immediately, hang up. That's a common tactic among scammers.

· Report suspicious phone calls at FTC.gov and FCC.gov.

· Visit MyFloridaLegal.com and FreshFromFlorida.com for more information on telephone scams.