The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office says it has launched an investigation into a “Caller ID Spoofing” scam.
Residents are getting calls from people pretending to be Manatee sheriff deputies, telling them to pay fines over the phone or face time in jail. The phone number appearing on caller ID is 941-747-3011, the non-emergency number for the sheriff’s Office.
One woman was told she failed to respond to a subpoena, and that a bench warrant had been issued for her arrest if she did not pay a fine of $3,000 immediately, according to the real sheriff’s office. The scammers also identified themselves using the name of a real deputy
“Caller ID Spoofing” scams are tough to avoid because its hard to tell if the call is coming from someone legitimate or fake. Scammers often trick peole into believing they are someone local, from a government agency, police department, sheriff’s office, or a familiar company.
Here are a few tips the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office shared for handling these calls:
If you get a strange call from the government, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the 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 to someone who calls.
Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. Never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sign of a scam.
If you receive calls asking for money or gift cards, treat the call as a scam and notify law enforcement. Anyone seeking information on scams can call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011.