The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has learned of a new scam utilizing spoofs of sheriff’s office websites.
In this scam, the perpetrators are creating fake websites that look nearly identical to the official sites of government agencies. They will call and attempt to convince the victim that they are being fined for not reporting to jury duty. In order to pay this fake fine, the victim is directed to the spoofed website, which includes an area to make the payment.
“If there’s a way to cheat people, there will be people who will utilize it. Let me say this again – the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office will NEVER call you and demand any kind of payment. It’s just not something we do. If you hear someone doing that, claiming to be from CCSO, hang up immediately.”
–Sheriff Bill Prummell
- If you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, demanding a form of payment (credit/debit card or bank information, gift cards, etc.), hang up immediately.
- Look up the company/agency/organization online. Contact them using the phone number listed on their official website to verify if there is something you need to know. Their official website will come up in your search before any spoofed versions.
- Verify suspicious emails the same way. Check to see that the sender is someone you know, and that it was sent at a time that makes sense. Often, scammers send emails at odd times such as early in the morning before the business they are spoofing would even be open. When in doubt, call the company/agency/organization and ask if they sent the email.
- Never wire money to anyone you don’t know. If a family member is requesting it, call them to verify the request is real.
You can visit our Crime Prevention Office (located in the Port Charlotte Town Center Mall) or visit these links to learn more:
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