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Sarasota Sheriff's Office warns of phone scam uptick

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  • | 6:00 a.m. May 20, 2024
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The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is warning the community about an increase in the frequency of warrant and juror scams. 

Callers claim to be affiliated with the SCSO and use ranks and names of current or past employees to impart credibility. They claim to be informing victims that they have an arrest warrant for not appearing in court, forgetting to pay a fine or failing to report for jury duty. They speak quickly and aggressively to pressure the victims to handle payment immediately via mobile bank transfer, cryptocurrency, gift cards or pre-paid debit cards.

The SCSO advises that agency members will never demand payment or request personal financial information over the phone. 

If a citizen receives a call from a suspected scammer regarding an alleged arrest warrant or demand for payment of civic fines, they should consider this a possible scam and to provide no financial information. Instead, end the call and report it immediately to local law enforcement. 

“These phone scams have been happening for years, and we want to make sure that our citizens are aware that this is an ongoing issue,” said Sheriff Kurt Hoffman. “When we hear of these scams, they can seem obvious, but repeatedly the scammers convince innocent citizens that this is a real and urgent issue, then quickly turn them into victims.”

Residents are asked to report suspected scams by calling 941-316-1201.


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