The scam usually goes like this: a man says he’s from the sheriff’s office and he has warrant for your arrest for missing jury duty. Pay up, or you’ll be arrested.
Palm Harbor resident Michael Brigmond got a call Jan. 23.
Caught off guard during a busy work day, he remembers a man claiming Brigmond missed jury duty and owed $3000.
“I wanted to at least start the process in case it was legit,” he said.
Following instructions, he drove to Winn-Dixie to buy a “voucher.”
Some crooks demand gift cards or pre-paid debit cards.
“I had already moved money over from savings,” said Brigmond.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office sees this kind of thing all the time. It can be jury duty, the IRS or the power company, Duke or TECO
Making them seem legit, the phone numbers look like they’re coming from the real deal.
In Pinellas County, the crooks use real names of detectives, captains or lieutenants.
But know this.
“We’re never gonna call any citizen requesting money over the telephone. We’re not gonna ask citizens to go out and purchase pre-paid debit cards or gift cards,” said Sgt. Spencer Gross with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Get the call? Hang up and call the real law enforcement.
“They’re gonna make a hundred phone calls and out of that hundred phone calls, they might scam two or three people” said Sgt. Gross.
Brigmond almost lost $3,000.
“The more I thought about it and the further along I went into the process, it just started to click in, ‘this is not right. I’m coming to my senses,’” he said.
Brigmond called a deputy he knows, who checked and found out there is no warrant for his arrest.
The sad thing is, that deputy told of elderly people at Target who fall for this scam all time.