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Fake law enforcement phone scam hits Tampa Bay

Posted at 8:54 PM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 23:13:07-05

TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Two Tampa Bay law enforcement agencies are warning residents about a phone scam where suspects are pretending to be law enforcement in order to obtain money. 

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says that the suspect calls residents and falsely identifies themselves as a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office sergeant. One suspect even specifically identified himself as "Sergeant Jim Gaskins" from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect reportedly informs the citizen that they have an outstanding warrant for missing jury duty. The suspect then tells the citizen that if they don't turn themselves in at the Sheriff's Office, or pay the fines, they will be arrested at their residence. 

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has also had reports of similar scams in the area. In their cases, the suspect identified himself as “Detective Larry McKinnon" or "Corporal Larry McKinnon” from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. 

Both agencies say that they will never call citizens requesting money over the telephone. Detectives advise citizens to not give personal information or account information over the phone, and call the Sheriff's Office to report suspicious activity.