Sheriff’s Office warning about phone scam threatening arrest unless the victim provides civic offense payments

No requests for such payments over the phone are legitimate, Sheriff’s Office and Clerk of the Circuit Court stress

Image courtesy Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office once again is warning Sarasota County residents about a telephone scam in which a caller claims to be a law enforcement officer issuing an arrest warrant because a payment has not been made for a civic offense.

“This scam has taken a number of different forms over the years,” a news release says, but, most recently, the fake caller is claiming to be a lieutenant or sergeant with the Sheriff’s Office, informing the victim that an arrest warrant has been issued because the victim has not shown up at court or paid a fine, or because the victim has skipped jury duty, the release points out. “The scammer claims that the victim owes money for these offenses and must issue payment immediately via cash or pre-paid debit card,” it adds.

The Sheriff’s Office and the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller want residents to know “that employees will never make a request for payment of fines over the telephone,” nor will they request personal financial information, the release stresses.

Before acting on an unsolicited phone call regarding an arrest warrant or payment of civic fines, contact the Sheriff’s Office at 861-5800 to confirm any such claims and whether an arrest warrant was issued, the release advises the public.