phone scams

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COVID-19 is leading many to order items online from companies such as Amazon, with scammers posing as Amazon employees claiming to need personal information.

Plus, they’re also targeting the Better Business Bureau.

Usually the Bureau is on the outside looking in at scams and other grifting, but this phone number spoofing puts them right in the middle as a victim.

“Because we’re a trustworthy organization and we look out for those types of things,” said Tammy Ward of the Bureau's Pensacola office.

Photo via Flickr// jonasclemens / https://flic.kr/p/eLXrX

A number of residents have called the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to report another common scam, conducted in the name of the Internal Revenue Service.

Tax-related scams cost victims more than $23 million per year, according to TIGTA, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  The IRS has also seen a 400% increase in phishing schemes.

Photo via Flickr// dmosiondz / https://flic.kr/p/7sYYEA

In a continuing scam, area individuals and businesses continue to receive calls from a person claiming to represent Gulf Power and threatening to cut off service if payment is not made.

Gulf Power continues to work with law enforcement in reporting the incidents. But the utility continues to get a growing number of complaints from customers reporting fraudulent calls.

Gulf Power Company customers in the Pensacola area are getting a heads-up about a telephone scam being investigated by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.  

In what appears to be the latest incarnation of an ages-old scam, calls are made by someone claiming to work for Gulf Power.

“Basically, it starts off with information stating that you have an overdue bill,” says Santa Rosa Deputy Rich Aloy. “Then the threat comes, that they’re going to shut your power off immediately if you do not provide payment right away.”