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Local Sheriff's Offices Warn Residents About Phone Scams Plaguing Panhandle

MGN Online

Local sheriff’s offices are warning area residents about different phone scams, running rampant in some Florida Panhandle counties.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s office has received several reports about a scam where someone claiming to be from the sheriff’s office has a warrant for the intended victim’s arrest. And, the only way to avoid that arrest is to a pay a fine immediately. And, Sergeant Rich Aloy says that’s wrong.

“Best thing to do is to just understand that 1) Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s office doesn’t solicit any funds,” said Aloy. “Over the telephone and just be informed about how your local government operates. 2) If it sounds suspicious and you have to make a donation or you need to pay something, take it upon yourself to call that individual yourself to negate some of these losses that we’re seeing.”

Meanwhile, over the last week, the Bay County Sheriff’s office also received many complaints about someone claiming to work for the IRS, who tells the intended victim they’ve failed to pay taxes. Then, to avoid arrest, the victim must pay the IRS through a gift card or green dot card.

“The Internal Revenue Service [IRS] will never notify you of unpaid taxes by phone and they will never require payment of that unpaid tax by purchasing gift or green-dot cards,” said Corley.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.