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Sheriff’s Office Warns of Phone Scam Targeting Business Owners

HERNANDO – Business owners beware.

The Sheriff’s Office is warning local business owners of a phone scam that is plaguing our community.

According to reports, this new scam involves individuals calling retail establishments and identifying themselves as a representative from “corporate.” The suspect asks to speak to a manager or someone in charge at the establishment and advises that their taxes are in arrears. They further warn that if the manager does not rectify this situation immediately, he or she will be “arrested or detained.”  As an option to resolve the issue, managers are asked to remove a given amount of money from the cash register or safe and purchase Green Dot Cards, or prepaid debit cards.

Once the cards have been purchased, the numbers from the cards are supplied to the suspect via telephone and then they directed to mail them to a bogus address.

Officials say, if you or any representative from your business receive a call like this, please do not fall victim to this scam.

If you have already fallen victim to this scam, contact the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to make a report.

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  • I had a man contact my brother in Tampa and my daughter in Ellenton to try and “find” me. He left a voicemail on my cell identifying himself representing another party in a civil suite stating that if I did not return his call by the end of business that he would have my DOH licences revoked as well my NPI number. I called legal counsel for DOH and was told no one but the State of Florida can pull my licenses. As for my NPI, I don’t have one. When I call him to speak to him, he was rude and abusive by saying that i had a bond revoke for bank robbery and rape (none of which I had done). I started laughing and of course this angered him and he threatened me that he controls my future, which made me laugh harder. I told him I have 3 things to say to you: 1. no one controls my life but me. 2.get your facts straight and 3. F— off. Haven’t heard from him since. I did contact HCSO and was told to block my number. I thing me telling him off was more effective.

    Monday, 22 January 2018, 12:45 pm
  • Ha! “Plaguing the Community” No one Falls For This Tom …NOOOOO ONE. It’s the equivalent of the “Is your refrigerator running” crank call. It’s been around for 20 years. Managers know how taxes work. This isn’t even news worthy. If a manager drops what he’s doing, runs to Circle K and buys a Green Dot for “corporate” guy on the phone, he is not a manager. He’s a buffoon.

    Monday, 22 January 2018, 9:51 am
  • Sounds as if some of these managers are victims of a Hernando County education.

    Saturday, 20 January 2018, 8:21 am
  • What a crock!!!

    Friday, 19 January 2018, 9:44 pm
  • The whole truth, you are exactly right. HCSO can’t do a thing about it. They spoof numbers and some have our area code prefix. I had one call, ( usually don’t answer if I don’t know the number) Was rather bored so answered. Foreign accent guy wanted to sell me life insurance, I just told him I didn’t need it as I was gonna live forever. He replied what. YEP TOLD HIM I FOUND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. He was dumbfounded and he hung up. Do not call list is a waste of money, Just use common sense.

    Friday, 19 January 2018, 6:54 pm
    • Do not call list is free?

      Friday, 19 January 2018, 11:25 pm
      • Food, yep it’s free for citizens, but government pays for it, don’t they?

        Saturday, 20 January 2018, 9:41 am
  • Really tell them to come and get you…. Older people give um a bunch of fake numbers and have some fun thats what i do you know if you did something wrong and 99% of yall didnt. Have fun with um get them excited you’ll feel Great..

    Friday, 19 January 2018, 4:33 pm
    • Qunesha, LOL, I do the same S%$#. They get really mad and sometimes they call all week long to bother you. 1 Wanted my credit card # @ i said u ready. He goes yes, GO-F%$#-YOURSELF @ he hung up.

      Friday, 19 January 2018, 7:35 pm
  • HCSO can’t do nothing about it. These scumbags call from India usually and say they are IRS. My advice would be to stay on the phone as long as possible and pretend that you have to go out and buy the cards and go back to your store, because you didn’t bring enough money than waste some more time.. Basically the more you are on the phone with them, the less chance they will have to scam someone else. If you want more tips, just google scambaiting tips.

    Friday, 19 January 2018, 3:52 pm
  • Are people really this gullible

    Friday, 19 January 2018, 3:04 pm
  • It’s definitely NOT just business people. I got the same call then the next day my 65 yr old mother called me crying saying she was going to jail because she didn’t have enough money to pay the IRS!!!! I hope they catch the scum that’s pulling this crap. My mother is a smart woman but she would have fallen in to the trap if her disability check hit that day. There targeting everyone. BEWARE

    Friday, 19 January 2018, 2:54 pm
  • This is not just business. My husband and I both have received calls that say they are form the IRS and we are about to be arrested unless we contact these people immediately. Of course, we have ignored them, as the IRS, as bad as they are, do not do this.

    Friday, 19 January 2018, 2:26 pm
  • And any manager worth his salt WILL NOT FALL FOR THIS .. It’s common sense and even sounds stupid..

    Friday, 19 January 2018, 2:13 pm
  • if you own a business and fall victim to this green dot card thing… deserve to be an employee, not an employer

    Friday, 19 January 2018, 2:12 pm
    • Steve, Spot on.

      Friday, 19 January 2018, 7:37 pm

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