MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Numerous Keys residents from Key Largo to Key West have reported scammers/thieves posing as real Monroe County Sheriff’s Office members this week asking for money or making threats about fake arrest warrants and false accusations about missing fake jury duty.
According to MCSO spokesperson Adam Linhardt, these criminals are using the names of real sheriff’s office members and often use phone numbers that appear real on caller ID.
Deputies said the crooks also use computer software that may mimic the voice of a real public official or loved one. In the past, scammers have even posed as Sheriff Rick Ramsay.
MCSO said in a news release Saturday that law enforcement will never call the public and ask for money via gift cards, or through an electronic financial transfer network such as Zelle or a mobile payment service such as PayPal or Venmo.
According to investigators, phone scams often involve criminals posing as law enforcement officers, utility workers, insurance adjusters, lawyers, and computer or business professionals.
The thieves will often ask for information such as the victim’s full name, address, passport, phone number, and other personal information, as well as money for fake administration costs.
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay urges the public to “always hang up” and contact the government organization, family member, or company the caller claims to be affiliated with.