Multiple new scams reported

The Sheriff’s Office has received multiple reports of criminals illegally redeeming people’s frequent flyer miles or airline credits. In at least one case, it appeared the victim’s personal information was hacked or available online. The airlines redeemed the victims’ miles or credits in the cases reported.

In each instance, the miles were worth thousands of dollars. The cases are a reminder for travelers and residents alike to ensure their personal information is not readily available online and to take steps to ensure casual thieves can’t access your private data.

Those cases came on the heels of another recent case in which a Keys resident lost more than $40,000 in a more familiar phone scam involving criminals who claimed one of his family members was in jail and needed help. The resident received a phone call from a thief falsely stating the victim’s daughter had been arrested for DUI and that the victim needed to contact his daughter’s fake attorney, another scammer, to resolve the fake issue. The victim packaged cash in three separate instances over the course of one day in the amounts of $8,500, $15,000, and $17,000 for a total of $40,500 and gave the packages each time to a ride-share driver. The victim contacted the Sheriff’s Office after the criminals continued to contact him for additional money. 

If you receive such a phone call, hang up and contact the person in question directly.

The Sheriff’s Office often receives reports of scams involving criminals posing as law enforcement officers, attorneys, utility workers, insurance adjusters, computer professionals, and others who make false claims seeking money. Often they will seek payment from victims via gift cards, a sure sign you are being scammed.

Always hang up and contact the family member, company, or government organization the caller claims to be affiliated with. Scammers can be convincing: they often use real phone numbers, real names of local officials, or computer software that may mimic the voice of a loved one.

Remember: Whenever you are asked for large sums of money over the phone, hang up!

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