ORLANDO, Fla. – State officials are warning residents about a scheme that involves spoofing the phone number for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a consumer alert Monday, letting Floridians know that criminals are trying to trick victims into thinking they work for FDLE and they need to fork over some type of payment or else they'll face legal consequences.
“As Florida’s Attorney General, I am infuriated that anyone would impersonate law enforcement, especially one of our state law enforcement agencies—FDLE. Not only are scams like this illegal, they make citizens question real law enforcement efforts. Please be on the look-out for these types of imposter scams and report fraud to FDLE, local law enforcement or my office at (866) 9NO-SCAM,” Moody wrote in a news release.
Other examples of this type of impostor scheme involve impersonating federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration.
Moody issued the tips below to help Floridians avoid falling victim to a scheme:
- Do not automatically trust the number listed on caller ID.
- Be wary of any individual who calls or emails asking or demanding a money wire, prepaid debit card or gift card as payment.
- Be wary of anyone who reaches out on social media pretending to be someone in military service or law enforcement and asking for financial assistance.
- Never provide personal or financial information over the phone or via email in response to a solicitation.
- Contact the appropriate government agency or requesting entity before paying for a government service and verify whether the charge is necessary and actually payable to the government entity.
- Know that the IRS and law enforcement agencies will never call threatening arrest unless payment is immediately made.
If you suspect you've been targeted in one of these schemes, report it by calling the Florida Attorney General's Office at 1-866-9NO-SCAM (966-7226).