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Person posing as deputy demands money from Fort Lauderdale woman, authorities say

Caller tells woman she needs to pay bond for missing jury duty

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Broward Sheriff's Office is warning the public about a scam known as "spoofing" after a Fort Lauderdale woman called authorities to say that someone called her and demanded money for missing jury duty.

According to an incident report, the victim received a phone call April 1 from a man who identified himself as "Lt. Graham" from the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The victim said the man told her that she failed to show up for jury duty and needed to provide BSO with $4,500 in cash for her bond and her husband's, or they would be arrested.

Fort Lauderdale police said the woman was convinced that the caller was authentic, so she went to her bank and withdrew $18,000 in case the "bond" was greater than the amount she was told.

According to the report, the victim called her husband, who told her to call the police before giving money to anyone.

Fort Lauderdale police Officer Robert Smiley called the number provided by the woman and said a man answered the phone with "Broward Sheriff's Office."

The officer asked to speak to Lt. Graham, and the man identified himself as Lt. Graham.

The officer said he then identified himself and asked to speak with a superior officer, but was told, "This is none of your business" and "Stay in your jurisdiction."

Smiley said the man then said that he was "terminating the conversation" and hung up.

While authorities have not reported any losses from the scams, they said they have received multiple reports from people who said they received calls from people posing as law enforcement officers.

BSO officials said their deputies would not ask for payments or personal information over the phone.

They advise anyone who receives such a call to hang up and call authorities immediately.


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