Crook poses as Sunny Isles Beach police chief, scams thousands from victim

A new troubling scam has criminals posing as a police chief.

SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Fla. – A new troubling scam has criminals posing as a police chief.

Unsuspecting victims are being told to pay up or be locked up.

It’s happening with crooks posing as Sunny Isles Beach Police Chief Eddie Santiago.

“They pretended to be me, they spoofed our telephone number to our police station, it showed up on her caller ID,” Santiago told Local 10 News’ Rosh Lowe. “They had her convinced it was me.”

It turns out this person posing as Chief Santiago said there was a warrant for the arrest of the woman he was trying to scam, and said she had to pay bitcoin to make it go away.

“They are very elaborate. They knew a lot about me, they went on our website,” he said.

Not only did the scammer know a lot about Santiago, but when the victim mentioned meeting him, the crook said yes and went along with it.

That victim transferred about $3,000 to a bitcoin account, convinced the chief could get her out of a warrant.

“There’s not a police agency that is going to call and ask for money,” he said.

Santiago said he will do everything in his power to put this scammer behind bars.

“The message I’m sending out, if you do this to our residents, we are going to find you and arrest you,” he said.

About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.