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WCSO warns public about phone scam, bogus lieutenant

Wakulla County Sheriff Charlie Creel is warning Wakulla County residents about a scam involving someone posing as a member of the sheriff’s office staff who is attempting to get residents to send him money.

A male subject called a victim Wednesday, March 19 posing as a Lt. John Martin of the Warrants Division of the WCSO. He called from (850) 688-3649 and told the 27-year-old Crawfordville victim that he had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to report for jury duty.

The suspect told the victim that he could avoid going to jail and having his driver license suspended if he sent $665 to the bogus lieutenant. A short time later a bogus Captain Truett told the victim his money did not transfer over and an additional $200 needed to be paid through PayPal.

Once the victim realized he became a victim of a scam he called the WCSO and discovered the agency does not have a Lt. John Martin or a Captain Truett on staff.

Deputy Mike Zimba contacted the bogus lieutenant and asked him who he was and where he worked. The suspect mispronounced the word “Wakulla” before hanging up on Deputy Zimba. The investigation has been turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

“Our Dispatch Unit received multiple fraud calls questioning the validity of Lt. John Martin,” said Sheriff Creel. “The Sheriff’s Office does not have anyone employed by that name. If you are ever unsure about whether you are becoming a victim of a scam, don’t send any money. You can always confirm through the agency whether you are being contacted by a legitimate member of my staff. The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office will never ask for personal information or money from anyone over the telephone.”

 

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