Some Alachua County residents are receiving phone calls from a person identifying himself as “Capt. Holloway of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.” The incoming calls show up with a 352 area code prefix making them appear to be local. The caller then advises them that they missed jury duty and instructs them there is an instant fine associated with this and if it is not paid their drivers license will be “flagged.” They are provided a phone number and instructed to secure a pre-paid credit card or money order in the amount of the “fine.” They are also provided with a number to call back once they have secured payment.
Typically when the caller calls the number back that has been provided they get an answering machine that greets them with, “Alachua County Sheriff’s Office we are unable to take the call right now, please leave a message. The scammer then calls the victim back relatively quickly.
We also continue to receive calls from citizens who have been targeted by suspects representing themselves as agents from local businesses such as Gainesville Regional Utilities, Clay Electric, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and most recently Walmart in an effort to secure payment with a prepaid Green Dot Visa gift card. In a recent case involving the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, a citizen was notified that they had an active Alachua County warrant and needed to send a prepaid Green Dot Visa gift card in the amount of $1000.00 to resolve the warrant. In another case, the suspect represented themselves as Walmart and told the citizen that there was a problem with their layaway and that in order to resolve that balance they needed to send a prepaid Green Dot Visa gift card. Please do not send anyone a prepaid Green Dot Visa gift card without first verifying that the problem is legitimate first.
It is important that all residents be aware of these scams in order to keep from becoming a victim. Please call the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office at 352-955-1818 if you receive a call that involves a scam.
SHERIFF SADIE DARNELL
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