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Who Can You Trust? Officials Say Con Artists Now Posing as Authorities

HERNANDO – Scammers are everywhere and their unscrupulous deceitful tactics have no boundaries, when it comes to who they target or how they steal your money.

While authorities are busy chasing thieves who place credit card skimmers at gas pumps, your email accounts are under attack by criminals, trying to steal your personal identity or making financial offers that are literally too good to be true.

Officials are now warning citizens of a new form of financial terrorism, where criminals are posing as utility workers or more frightening – law enforcement officers.

RNRF has received dozens of calls from residents, who claim they were approached by individuals claiming to represent utility companies and demanding payment for past due bills. Some have actually paid the fee, only to find out later that the bill was not past due and there was no record of collection attempts.

Yesterday, RNRF received information that a woman was contacted by a “Deputy” and told that she had an active warrant for her arrest. The “Deputy” instructed the woman to draw out a large amount of cash and place the money on gift cards; from there, she was to meet him an undetermined location, where she would turn over the cards to avoid arrest. The woman reported the incident to authorities but the outcome of the incident is unknown.

Later that afternoon, officials released the following statement, warning residents of the latest scam:

The Office of Don Barbee Jr., Clerk of Court and Comptroller warns there have been several reports that Hernando County residents are receiving court notices and jury summonses via e-mail. Some residents are also being contacted via telephone regarding active warrants. These e-mails and phone calls are fraudulent. The scammers tell the victim that he or she has missed jury duty or has other legal issues pending in Florida and must pay money or provide private information or face arrest.

The Office of Don Barbee Jr., Clerk of Court and Comptroller, will never send a jury summons or court notice via e-mail. Deputies, clerks or court officials do not make phone calls of this nature.

Do not open an email attachment from an unfamiliar source and never provide personal information to an unfamiliar source either by phone or email.

Residents should report this fraudulent activity to local authorities immediately. Call the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office at (352) 754-6830 if you experience this type of activity.

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  • If your stupid enough to believe that you can pay off a alleged bill or arrest with gift cards then you need no to procreate.

    Sunday, 26 April 2015, 7:21 pm
  • I had similar phone calls about a year ago. Just because someone says the name of their company is federal such and such doesn’t mean they are a federal entity. Another way I knew it was a scammer call was they couldn’t identify which county I lived in or which county they where calling from. 352 is a huge area code spanning several counties. The best thing to do is ask for their business number and reference it on the web. If they are posing as a deputy ask for their badge number and name and then call them back at the department number found on google not provided by them. Yes its a hassle, but a real deputy will understand your need to protect yourself. Remember any government entity trying to contact you will already have all your personal information including your current or most recent address. Also you can find out if you have a warrant or unpaid traffic fines simply by going to the DMV website or the HSCO website and putting in your DL number. Government agencies do not go through collection agencies for that stuff they simply issue a bench warrant or suspend your DL. Learn how to fact check 🙂

    Sunday, 26 April 2015, 5:09 pm
  • If someone comes to my door and tries to scam me I’ll have something for them but it won’t be money and they won’t like it and if they attempt to enter my home uninvited it will be the very last thing that they will ever do.

    Sunday, 26 April 2015, 2:01 pm
  • Mierda de caballo!

    Sunday, 26 April 2015, 10:07 am
  • People are always out there trying to take things from me!

    This happened to me!

    I got pulled over because I was told I was going 55 on Mariner, I WAS NOT!

    The “cop” pulled me over and gave me this piece paper saying they needed $200!

    I dont trust anything from the police, they are corrupt. this town needs a hero the put the police behind bars

    Sunday, 26 April 2015, 9:14 am
  • Ladies & Gentlemen, BAD people are everywhere. If you do not have caller ID on your phone and you pick-up a call were you are not aware of the caller and they ask you to send money or do something that does not seem right, HANG UP immediately. If they call you back, hang up again and call the authorities. If you have caller ID avoid all 1800/1855/1877 calls and calls were you do not know the caller. 99% of the time it will be a solicitation, a sales call or some type of phony survey.
    Also, check your credit card statements often and NEVER give out your personal information to anyone on the phone. If you do so you are giving the bad folks the combination to the safe and than your identify is out there for sale to someone possibly in Russia or Asia.

    Saturday, 25 April 2015, 8:11 pm
    • Dont want those commies taking your identity posing a true blue blooded america and voting in one of their own for the next election, how do you think Obama got relected?

      Sunday, 26 April 2015, 9:16 am

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