Scam calls continuing in the community, Sarasota Police Department warns the public

Voice over internet technology makes it difficult for law enforcement officers to trace perpetrators

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

The Sarasota Police Department is reminding the public about phone scams that have continued to be reported, the department has announced.

In one example, a caller who claims to be a member of the Sarasota Police Department is soliciting donations, a news release explains. The caller also claims that he or she has a warrant for the person who answered the phone and will execute that warrant unless the person makes a payment over the phone, the release adds.

Other scammers who are calling ask people to pay their red light camera tickets through bitcoin currency, the release points out.

These types of scams typically use a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) number, making it possible for the scammer to call someone within a specified area code through the internet, as if it were a local call, the release explains. “Typically, these types of calls originate outside the United States,” the release adds. “These types of calls are difficult for law enforcement to investigate.”

The Sarasota Police Department wants to remind the public that officers or civilians with the department “will never solicit funds over the phone or request personal financial information,” the release stresses. Members of the public are reminded to not share any personal or financial information with these types of callers.

People are encouraged to contact the Sarasota Police Department’s front desk staff at 941-263-6773 if they receive these types of unsolicited calls, the release emphasizes.