Pinellas sheriff's office warns residents about phone scam

Pinellas County, Florida -- The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about a phone scam where a caller claims to be a law enforcement officer.

Detectives say a man identifying himself as "Lieutenant John Roberts" contacts potential victims telling them they have an outstanding warrant for their arrest for failing to appear for jury duty. He then attempts to collect as much as $800 in fines by instructing them to purchase prepaid cards, telling them which store to buy it from, and call him back with the information.

If the person doesn't do as he instructs, deputies say he tells them he will come to their house and arrest them.

The sheriff's office says three of these incidents were reported over the weekend from March 21 through March 23. Each of the calls was reportedly received from the same local number, which is now disconnected.

The sheriff's office reminds residents that it will not call people with outstanding warrants and it would never require them to pay a fine via a prepaid or green dot card, or via any other third part vendor.

If you have been a victim of this crime, contact the Economic Crimes Unit at (727) 582-6200.


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