Locals Losing Cash to Scam Artists!!
Local residents are getting scam calls from someone claiming to be a deputy with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and at least one person who fell for the scheme is out $1500.00 as a result.
The caller ID showed “Okaloosa County” in one of the cases and the caller identified himself as an OCSO deputy. He told the victim he had missed Jury Duty and would be held in in criminal contempt if he didn’t pay $500 for a fine, and $400 for Court fees. The caller told the victim his phone was being tracked via GPS and if he didn’t comply he would be arrested. While the caller kept the victim on the phone, the victim was directed to a retail store where he purchased two Green Dot cards. The caller had the victim provide the numbers off the back of the cards. The caller then advised the victim one of the cards was no good and had him purchase another one for an additional $500. The caller then had the victim drive to the OCSO Livingston Office at 197 E. James Lee where a Deputy would make contact with him. After no Deputy arrived, the victim made contact with the Sheriff’s Office.
In another case yesterday, a victim also received a telephone call from a male claiming to be an OCSO Deputy. The suspect told the victim that she failed to report for jury duty and that if she did not pay $1,500.00 immediately, she would be arrested. While keeping the victim on the phone, and advising her phone was being tracked by GPS, the victim was directed to a retail store where she obtained three pre-paid debit cards and provided the card information to the suspect. The suspect then instructed the victim to go to 197 E. James Lee Boulevard and make contact with him; however, no one was there when she arrived. The victim then notified the Sheriff’s Office.
These scams are quite common and can be extremely difficult to trace so the best way to fight them is through prevention and education. Legitimate operations would not require a person to purchase prepaid or gift cards and provide the numbers.