CCSO issues a scam alert

Residents should be aware of a telephone scam involving callers impersonating members of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO).

CCSO’s “Call Before You Pay’ fraud hotline has received multiple complaints about imposter calls from scammers who identify themselves as law enforcement officers. In some cases, the scammers identified themselves as members of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The scammers tell potential victims they have an outstanding warrant for an unpaid debt and that a fine is due. If the fine is not paid, they’ll be arrested. Payment typically involves obtaining a prepaid gift card and providing personal information such as a Social Security number to the scammer.

CCSO encourages residents to report this type of activity immediately.

This scam can take on many forms to include people impersonating the IRS, your bank, utilities, and many other legitimate organizations. CCSO advises anyone who receives a call requesting money or personal information not to provide that information over the phone. Instead, hang up. If you think that the caller may have been the real organization, look up the legitimate number and then call it to verify the information you received over the phone.

Deputies would also like to remind residents that members of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office will NEVER contact you by telephone about an arrest warrant or fine. Deputies will NEVER ask you to obtain a prepaid credit card to pay a fine to avoid arrest or ask you for your own personal credit/debit card information, to include the pin number and any other identifying information over the telephone.

For assistance with any suspicious encounter involving a request for money or personal information, contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s “Call Before You “Pay” hotline at (239) 252-CALL (2255). The hotline is staffed by a CCSO deputy in the Financial Crimes Bureau between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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