The Sheriff’s Office was notified of another gift card-related scam this week.

In this case, the scammers were said to be affiliated with Publishers Clearing House and instructed the would-be victim to pay a processing fee by buying approximately $500 worth of gift cards.

In many cases, scammers call claiming to be a law enforcement agency/utility company/government agency or popular business and urge people to rectify some fake processing fee or fake violation by paying them, usually with gift cards.

The criminals use phone numbers and often will use real officials’ names during the scams. Some residents have previously reported getting calls from someone posing as Sheriff Rick Ramsay.

First off: If you receive a call from a law enforcement agency/utility company/government agency or popular business, hang up and contact the agency for verification.

Second: NEVER PAY FOR ANYTHING OVER THE PHONE WITH GIFT CARDS. This is a sure sign you are getting scammed.

In sum: Residents should never give personal, monetary, or gift card information to anyone over the phone, in a text, or an email— TO ANYONE REGARDLESS OF WHO THEY CLAIM TO BE — without first checking with that person, utility, business, or government agency.

Anyone with information about any crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477.

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