July 19, 2019
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office issued a Scam Alert today for Bay County residents.
The BCSO has received complaints about a scam involving a man calling residents, claiming to be an employee at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. The scammer informs his intended victim that they have a warrant issued by the BCSO, but they can pay a fine to avoid arrest. The fine is to be paid using gift cards.
One intended victim disputed the validity of the claim and told the scammer she was going to call the BCSO to confirm the warrant. The scammer hung up and immediately the victim received a call on her cell phone from the number 850-747-4700, which is the correct number to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. The intended victim answered the phone and a man, claiming to be a sergeant at the BCSO, told her she had a warrant and she needed to pay the fine with gift cards in order to avoid arrest.
Scammers have the ability to use Caller ID Spoofing. This is when the scammer can make any number they wish appear on the phone’s Caller ID screen, in order to make the call appear legitimate. BCSO investigators believe that is why the number to the BCSO appeared on the victim’s Caller ID screen.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office will never call to inform someone they have a warrant and they can pay a fine to avoid arrest by using gift cards and paying over the phone. If you have been victimized by a scam, please report it to your local law enforcement.
Prepared by R. Corley
Information by Inv. D. Roache
Approved by Chief J. Heape