“Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies do not call residents instructing them to purchase any sort of debit card or money order to pay off a warrant, missed court date fee, ticket or fine,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “Do not be fooled by anyone using our agency’s name to swindle you.”
The PCSO has had several reports of people calling residents, identifying themselves as a PCSO Deputy, or other law enforcement officer, and instructing the victim to purchase either a money order or a “Green Dot Money Pak Card” in payment of a bogus fine. The caller in one case advised the victim a warrant would be issued for their arrest if they did not cooperate.
According to detectives, the caller may advise the victim they are a supervisor and there is an outstanding “red-light camera” fine, or a missed jury date. The caller then directs the victim to purchase a Money Order, or “Green Dot Money Pak Card” and provides them with a phone number to call back after the purchase.
When the victim has made the purchase and calls the number provided, the suspect instructs the victim to provide the numbers on the back of the card, or money order routing information.
Once the transaction is completed, the thief has the victim’s money, and the phone number has been disconnected leaving detectives little to investigate.
Never conduct any business over the phone with anyone whose identity you have not verified.
Never give out personal information over the phone.
And if there are any concerns about possible fines or outstanding warrants, it is wise to contact law enforcement yourself.