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Telephone Scam Impersonates Sherriff's Office


  If you get a call from the Santa Rosa Sheriffs' Office demanding money to take care of an outstanding warrant just hang up! It's another in a series of telephone scams that are becoming much more frequent in the area. Santa Rosa County Sheriffs' Deputy Rich Aloy, the public information officer for the department, says scammers have been calling people in the county demanding money to settle an outstanding warrant. The scammers is telling people they will be arrested unless they provide a credit card number to settle the claim.

The story is similar to others that have been floating around the area. A caller misrepresents themself on the phone and demands immediate payment. In this case, to settle an outstanding warrant and not get arrested. The answer is also the same as the other scams: hang up, it's completely bogus. Deputy Aloy says the sheriff's office will never call someone demanding payment over the phone for an outstanding warrant, or for anything else. He says in the case of a warrant, the sheriff's office send a post card type mailer to a person's home.

The department is investigating the calls, but for now there doesn't seem to be any pattern of who is being targeted. People who have been called report the scammer sounds confident and convincing.

Deputy Aloy also says caller ID does show a number when people are caller by the scammer, but the number varies and is not always from the 850 area code. He asks people who get these calls to hang up and notify the sheriff's department. While the reports locally have been coming from Santa Rosa County, Aloy says similar scams are going on around the country.

If you have any questions about a call from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office, you can call them directly at 850-983-1100.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.