Phone scams increase in Alachua County during the holidays


Phone scams are everywhere.

“One should hang up immediately,” says Art Forgey, the public information officer at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

Alachua County has received an surge in phone scams over the past month—making authorities go to Facebook to warn residents.

“So far we have received over 50 reports of people calling in claiming they received a call from the sheriff’s office where someone identifies themselves as an employee here, and tells them there is a warrant out for their arrest,” says Forgey.

Although, no sheriff’s office will call you on the phone for a pending arrest, but the scam doesn’t stop there.

“They then tell them the only way to get that cleared up is to get a green dot card, or some type of money gift card, and give them those numbers over the phone,” says Forgey.

One man in Alachua County was scammed out of $1,000 with this scam, and reported it authorities yesterday.

“It’s really hard to track with apps and the internet,” says Forgey. “You can make it look like there is a call right here from the sheriff’s office with a local number, and when we try to call those numbers back, they are either disconnected or not answered.”

And how these scammers wire that money is easy, after buying a prepaid gift card, all victims have to do is give them the numbers in the back of in card, and within seconds, that money is gone”

“When a government entity calls you and demands money up front, that should be the first red flag,” says Forgey.

The FTC says with prepaid card scams like these, victims sent over $85,000,000 to thieves last year.

So happens if you receive this fishy call? Hang up, and report it to your local sheriff’s office

“It’s a process that as long people send them money, it’s going to continue to happen,” says Forgey.

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