BUNNELL, Fla. – The Bunnell Police Department is warning residents to be mindful of a “spoofing” scam troubling the area.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office received complaints from Bunnel residents that have been receiving phone calls falsely disguised as the Bunnell Police Department on caller ID.
When residents answered the call, someone claimed to be from the Bunnell Police Department and told the person they had a warrant out for their arrest. The caller instructed them to provide their credit card information to pay a fine and avoid arrest.
Although these incidents are difficult to prevent, individuals can protect themselves by “simply not participating in the scam,” officials said.
“Be assured no real police department or sheriff’s office conducts business like this – ever!” Bunnell Police Chief David Brannon said. “I urge residents to immediately hang up if they receive a call or message from anyone making these demands and call the local law enforcement agency to report the incident.”
Related: Spoofing! Scammers pretending to be calling from WJXT try and dupe viewers
The Bunnell Police Department shared ways people can protect themselves from becoming a victim of other scams.
Sometimes scammers will call claiming a relative was involved in a serious car accident. They will urge the individual to wire money for medical expenses or something similar, according to officials. Do not take the bait.
Also, be aware that scammers engage in phishing expeditions through text or email.
To prevent your information from being compromised, the FBI recommends:
- Don’t click on anything in an unsolicited email or text message.
- Look up the company’s phone number on your own to call and ask if the request is legitimate.
- Look for errors in email or web addresses
- Don’t send money or gift cards to anybody you do not know
- Never give out your personal information like your banking or social security information
- Don’t assume a message that looks like it’s from a friend or business is real. Instead, you can reach out to the individual from a known phone number or email account to confirm they sent you the message
The FBI also suggests you protect your devices using anti-virus and anti-malware software, and set the software to update automatically.
If you believe you are a victim of an online scam, contact your local FBI office. Victims are also encouraged to report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Center at www.ic3.gov.