Potential DCF scammer worries neighbors

Crime analyst Ken Jefferson says residents should identify investigators

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Channel 4 has found a suspicious person claiming to represent the Florida Department of Children and Families could be a fake.

It started when Channel 4 received an email from a resident of the Antlers Apartment complex in Deerwood.

The resident said someone knocked on their door around 10:30 p.m. a few nights ago and said he was with DCF.

The Channel 4 viewer wrote: "A man casually dressed with a black folder and a green and white identification card (that was flashed very fast)."

The email continued to explain that the man asked the residents questions about their neighbors and their children. 

The viewer that emailed Channel 4 suspects the man was a scam artist. Neighbors told Channel 4 they are are worried.

"I don't know how DCF works, but for someone to come from DCF, that's kind of late," said one neighbor.

"It would have put my suspicions up quick. I would've shut the door, called police," said Sandy Brookins, who lives nearby.

Channel 4 took the email to the Department of Children and Families. According to DCF, there's no way the person would be one of their investigators. DCF said their investigators carry badges that feature a phone number people can call to verify the worker is legitimate.

Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said people can call DCF or police to confirm an investigator's identity before opening their door.

"It is absolutely okay to call police, and don't let them flash you a badge, compare the authenticity of the ID itself," said Jefferson. 

DCF also has card readers on their cards so that people can scan the badge with a smart phone to verify that they work for DCF. 

Jefferson said it is possible the fake DCF worker was trying to get information he could use to break into residences.

"It is set up, trying to look around your place, see what's inside and scan the area to see what they want to come back to get," said Jefferson.

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