WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Phone scammers are continuing to target Walton County residents.
Authorities are reporting an increase of scammers pretending to be law enforcement officers, asking innocent people for money.
There are signs to know if you are being scammed.
“It’s a very elaborate and clever scheme where people call the phone and the number pops up as the non-emergency number and they are using law enforcement officers who work here,” Walton County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Corey Dobridnia said.
The scammers are leaving in-depth voicemails accusing residents of missing jury duty and failing to appear in court.
Even going to extreme lengths by using the caller’s addresses and names of Walton County judges and deputies.
The scammers are also trying to convince callers to apple pay thousands of dollars to them in order to avoid going to jail.
“It’s very convincing at first and people get nervous because they are targeting people who aren’t typically in trouble. So they don’t deal with law enforcement very often we are just asking people to hang up the phone. Don’t give anybody any money. Don’t buy any gift cards, gift cards are the first thing that should set off a warning in your mind,” Dobridnia said.
Law enforcement agencies never take money for missing jury duty or for a warrant service. One victim sent scammers $500.
“Law enforcement impersonation scams are very alarming, but when they use specific names again it’s very convincing. So they are probably taking a look at our website or looking at our non-emergency line there are apps out there that can disguise the phone number to look like it’s coming from us,” Dobridnia said.
Officials said the scammers are typically from different areas, but if they’re successful, they’ll continue to target the area.
If you receive a scam phone call, you should call the Walton County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line to report it at (850) 892-8111.