WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Investigators at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) want the public to be more aware of scams and identity theft.

At the United Way Emerald Coast Lunch and Learn, a local fraud investigator sat down with retired and senior citizens to talk about personal safety.

“This is important to this crowd in particular because I think our 55 and older adults are probably the bigger targets for the scamming,” said Gina Stephens, RSVP Director United Way Emerald Coast.

WCSO said the most frequent scam is credit card theft.

“We have a lot of calls regarding credit card fraud or someone is taking someone’s credit information or banking information and then hacking into it and using it, charging someone to that account. And the person doesn’t find out until afterward,” said Daniel Eddy, Walton County Sheriff’s Office Investigator.

Eddy said the most expensive frauds in the area are phone calls leading the victim to believe they need to send money for emergencies like fake arrest warrants.

“The caller is from the government and there’s a warrant or some other kind of action being done against them and they need to send money or something bad is going to happen. And they’ll send five, ten, $15,000 sometimes in cash thinking that they don’t they’re going to get in trouble. And then it’s it’s a scam,” said Eddy.

Whether you fall for a scam or not. The sheriff’s office says the best thing to do is to call and report it. That helps them know where to focus their efforts to stop fraud in its tracks.

“For example, if you call regarding bad drivers on Highway 98 during school time, we know to focus our traffic resources there. If we know that we’re having incidents of fraud happening and how they’re happening, we know where to focus our resources,” said Eddy.

Facebook marketplace or online transactions are hot spots for scammers.  Eddy said to be cautious of anyone trying to send you a check in the mail as they are known to bounce back and hurt you financially.

One tip to protect yourself is to know that the government or banks will never call you. And if something doesn’t sound right, get a second opinion.

“If it doesn’t seem right, don’t do it, and then ask your friend about it. If you’re looking at something, you’re like, hey, is this a good idea or not? Then ask a friend and say, does this seem right to you? And just get other people involved in the decision-making process,” said Eddy.

Find more United Way of the Emerald Coast events online.

To report fraud call the WCSO non-emergency line at 850-892-8111.