The Bay County Sheriff’s Office released a Scam Alert today regarding a new form of an old scam involving Social Security.

Numerous reports have been received by the BCSO of a phone scam in which the scammer claims to be from a federal law enforcement agency investigating Social Security scams and other criminal offenses. The scammer then tells the intended victim they have been identified as participating in a money laundering scheme, or that a vehicle was located near the border with a quantity of drugs or credit cards inside and information connecting the victim to this vehicle has been developed. The victim is then threatened with a lengthy prison term and, finally, offered an opportunity to “purge” the warrant for their arrest by paying a fee for an amount usually between $500 to $2000. The fee can be paid only using gift cards.

No law enforcement agency will request payment in the form of a gift card. Anytime you are contacted by someone claiming to represent a law enforcement agency, ask for a phone number that you can use to call them back. By doing this, you can determine the validity of the caller. Never send money to an unverified caller via gift cards or money transfers. Legitimate business is never conducted in this manner.


Prepared by R. Corley

Information by Cpl. D. Rozier

Approved by Chief J. Heape