The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Warns Residents To Avoid Phone Call Scams

According to the Sheriff’s Office, scammers have defrauded people out of thousands of dollars by falsely claiming that their Social Security number is being utilized in criminal activity and that they must pay to get the situation resolved. Government agencies never call you and demand money or financial information.
June 13, 2022
Phone Call

Scams involving people posing as members of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office are being investigated by detectives. Residents in Manatee County should be aware of a phone scam advisory issued by the sheriff’s office. 

Detectives are looking into recent allegations of people posing as officers of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and threatening victims with jail time if they don’t pay fines. According to reports, the calls came in as (941) 747-3011, which is the genuine MCSO non-emergency line. Residents are being told they must pay fines or risk jail time by callers who have been identified as (941) 747-3011, the MCSO non-emergency number.

What To Expect As Reported by The Sheriff

In one incident, a woman was informed that she had failed to reply to a subpoena and that a bench warrant for her arrest had been issued if she did not pay a $3,000 fee right away. In an attempt to persuade the potential victim that the call was credible, the fraudster used the name of a real deputy sheriff. 

Thankfully, this woman didn’t fall for it and reported it to the MCSO. However, not everyone is this lucky, and hence, it is crucial you are aware of these scams so that you can shield yourself from them. According to the Sheriff’s Office, scammers have defrauded people out of thousands of dollars by falsely claiming that their Social Security number is being utilized in criminal activity and that they must pay to get the situation resolved. Government agencies never call you and demand money or financial information. To make the phone call appear to come from someone they know, the scammers utilize caller ID spoofing. Don’t rely on caller ID on your phone.

Sheriff

THIS IS A SCAM if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the government or a law enforcement organization and they ask for personal financial information or demand money. Please be cautious not to fall victim to this or any other phone scam. 

These thieves prey on the elderly by impersonating a local entity, such as a government agency, police department, sheriff’s office, or a corporation with which they do business, such as a bank or cable provider, by using phony Caller ID information. When using “Caller ID Spoofing,” scammers don’t care whose phone number they use. Don’t rely on Caller ID to figure out who’s calling. It’s not always easy to tell if the Caller ID information is correct.

If you receive calls like this one asking for money or gift cards, consider it a fraud and report it to the authorities. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 941-747-3011 for information on scams. In an attempt to persuade the potential victim that the call was credible, the fraudster used the name of a real deputy sheriff. The woman was not duped and reported it to the authorities.

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Precautionary Measures To Be Taken

The Sheriff’s Office issued the following advice in a press release:

  • Hang up if you receive a suspicious call from the authorities. Visit the official website for contact details if you want to take a look. Employees from the government will not phone you out of the blue to demand money or account information.
  • Never give out — or confirm — personal or financial information over the phone.
  • Never wire money or use a reloadable card to transmit money. In fact, even if the name or number on the caller ID appears to be legitimate, never give money to someone who calls out of the blue.
  • Do you feel compelled to act right away? Put the phone down. That’s a telltale indicator of a con.

The most recent fraud, like others in previous years, names locations in Florida’s western Panhandle. Many impersonate an online dater who is interested in meeting and needs money to pay off legal “debts,” or are “catfishing” schemes in which the scammer impersonates a Florida case involving inheritances or “catfishing” schemes in which the scammer impersonates an online dater who is interested in meeting but needs money to pay off legal “debts.”

The Clerk of Court or the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal (electronic filing system) will send you an email with an attachment or a link to see a summons for court or jury service. It’s possible that the attachment or link will attempt to infect you with a virus or steal your personal data. The Manatee County Clerk of Courts will send you an official notice if you have been called for jury duty or to appear in court.

Jury

A phone hoax in which the caller claims you failed to show up for jury service. If you don’t cooperate, the caller will impersonate the Clerk’s office or a local law enforcement agency and threaten you with arrest and jail time. The caller will then ask for personal information such as your date of birth and social security number in order to “authenticate” your identity, or the caller will tell you that the “bail” can be paid in person or by transferring the money right away.

Maybe some will volunteer to take your credit or debit card over the phone in order to escape detention by paying your bond. If you have been summoned for jury duty, the Manatee County Clerk of Court will mail you an official notice. The Clerk’s office will not contact you or send you an email requesting payment if you miss jury duty.

Ezchargeback advise you to remain vigilant against different kinds of scam. Visit our news page for more updates and guides. 

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