Sarasota Police Department warning the public to be aware of telephone scammers

Victims have reported calls requesting payments to prevent filing of charges for alleged crimes

The Sarasota Police Department is on Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota. File photo

The Sarasota Police Department is warning residents and visitors in the city of Sarasota that phone scammers are posing as members of the Sarasota Police Department.

“Over the last two weeks,” a news release points out, “at least three different suspects have called victims in Sarasota County and the city of Sarasota, claiming to be officers with the Sarasota Police Department. The scammers tell victims if they do not pay a certain amount of money, scammers will press charges for fictitious crimes,” the release adds.

“The Sarasota Police Department would like to remind residents and visitors to never give personal identifying information over the phone and always ask questions of the person calling,” the release emphasizes. “Local law enforcement agencies would never request money over the phone, over the internet, or in person,” the release notes.

“If you feel you have been a victim of this scam or a scam similar to this, please call the Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 941-263-6070 or the Sarasota Police Department non-emergency line at 941-316-1199,” the release says.