Thieves are once again targeting Florida Keys residents by way of phone calls in which they falsely claim to be with the Sheriff’s Office. They are instructing citizens to pay them with pre-paid debit cards in order to avoid arrest.
Often the thieves claim to be a lieutenant or sergeant with the Sheriff’s Office. They falsely claim the person who answered the call has a warrant for their arrest for past-due IRS debts or for failure to show for jury duty. The callers then instruct the person to go to Publix, CVS or a similar business and buy pre-paid debit cards in order to pay whatever false debt the thieves erroneously claim is owed.
Neither the IRS nor the Sheriff’s Office conducts business in this manner.
Anyone who receives such a call should hang up and report the call to the Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information about these crimes should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.P3tips.com/139.