Scam Artist Impersonate Sheriff's Deputies to Steal Identity

By: Bryan Anderson
By: Bryan Anderson

Chipley, FL- The Washington County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about a phone scam involving the department itself.

"In the last few days we've received complaints about people calling them representing the Sheriff's Department and telling these people they have civil papers for them, " said Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock.

Haddock said the fake deputy then tells the victim to call a "1-800" phone number, where they're asked for personal information like social security numbers and birth dates.

"That's a form of phishing information from you where they can obtain that information and do an identity theft," said Sheriff Haddock.

Authorities said if you think you're on the phone with a scammer, first check the caller ID, then ask the person who they are, what department they work for, and why they need your personal information.

"If they steal your personal information, they can do multiple accounts, and multiple credit cards and buy things and thousands and thousands of dollars is going against your credit," said Sheriff Haddock.

If you've already given your information, you still have time to freeze your accounts.

"You can do that and that way nobody can look at anything or get anything or buy anything in your name," said Sheriff Haddock.

You can also prevent these types of calls by putting your phone number on the Florida and national "Do Not Call" lists.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office never serves civil papers, like foreclosure notices, or ever asks for any personal information, over the phone.

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  • by Anonymous on Jul 9, 2011 at 01:28 PM
    Well I don't worry about phone scams cause I never answer my phone anyway. I just see who's calling and If I don't reconize the number or name, I don't pick up.People hear it's the sheriff and they get scared, { must be guilty of something } and they sing over the phone all their info with out really knowing who it really is. Really people get a grip.
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