Sheriff Al Nienhuis is issuing a scam alert.
Once again, citizens have contacted the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to report they have received a telephone call (sometimes automated) from someone identifying him or herself as being from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The caller tells the victim there is a warrant for his or her arrest and in order to “clear this up” a sum of several thousand dollars must be paid.
Unfortunately, at least one citizen, who does not wish to be named, has already fallen victim to this scam.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with the Sheriff’s Office, the IRS, or someone telling you that you owe money and you MUST PAY IT NOW, hang up, it’s a scam. Calls of this nature are not made by law enforcement agencies and/or the IRS.
In an attempt to sound authentic, the scammer may use the name of an actual employee at the Sheriff’s Office or provide the correct telephone number for the agency. The scammer may also use an app to “spoof” the number they are calling from, to make it appear they are actually calling from the HCSO or at the very least, a local telephone number.
During the call, the scare tactics are used to get the victim to pay money now. One such recent tactic was “You have a warrant for your arrest. You must pay now, or you will be arrested.”
Again, employees of law enforcement agencies do not call citizens to demand money. If you receive a call like this, hang up, it’s a scam.
Outstanding warrants absolutely cannot be resolved over the telephone. Warrants can only be cleared through the court system. Individuals with outstanding warrants should turn themselves in at any Sheriff’s Office location or Detention Facility.
For more information, or to check if you have an outstanding warrant, please visit https://www.hernandosheriff.org/…/records/localwarrants.aspx .