Pinellas County, Florida -- Pinellas County Detectives are encouraging the public to be on alert to a recent phone scam occurring in Pinellas County.
According to reports, the suspects are calling businesses and residents in Pinellas County posing as the Sheriff's Office.
The suspects call and tell victims they are detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. They state the victim on the line has an outstanding warrant with the Department of Justice or the U.S. Department of Treasury and if their fines are not paid, they will be arrested. They request the money to be sent via pre-paid credit cards, MoneyGram or Western Union.
The suspects are using a spoofing technique to link their phone number to the Sheriff's Office non-emergency line. The spoofing technique allows the suspects to use a specialized computer program or phone app to fraudulently display the Sheriff's Office phone number on the victim's caller ID.
The suspects making the phone calls are male and appear to have foreign accents.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office will never call citizens requesting money over the telephone. Detectives advise, citizens should not give personal information or account information over the phone unless you are initiating the phone call.
If anyone has information on these scams or has become a victim to these scams they are asked to call Sgt. Tim Kelly with the Economic Crimes Unit at (727) 582-6200.