PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (970 WFLA) – Pinellas County detectives are investigating a phone scam where the caller claims to be a "lieutenant" with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
According to investigators, the caller identifies himself as "Lieutenant John Roberts" and tells the potential victim that a warrant has been issued for their arrest for a failure to appear for jury duty. Detectives say the caller then instructs the potential victim to purchase a prepaid debit card or green dot card to pay for the fines. He further tells them what store to buy it from and to call him back with the information - attempting to collect as much as $800 in fines, deputies said. Detectives say he has also told potential victims that if they do not do as instructed, he will come to their house to arrest them.
Sheriff’s officials want to remind residents that they would not call people with outstanding warrants; and would never require people with outstanding warrants to pay a fine via a prepaid or green dot card; or via any other third party vendor.
Deputies say three similar incidents were reported over the weekend from March 21 through March 23. One of those was received by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, deputies said.
According to investigators, in each of the reported cases the calls were received from the same local number, which is now disconnected.
If you have been a victim of this crime, deputies say please contact the economic crimes unit at (727) 582-6200.