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Pinellas Co. Detectives: Scammers are getting more convincing

Posted at 1:37 PM, Nov 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-13 18:11:21-05

They’re sneaky, they’re slick and they’re getting more convincing! Scam artists are stealing billions of dollars from hard working Americans and every day they’re finding new ways for you to fall for their tricks. 

This week, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is hosting 5 information sessions to help you avoid the most popular scams. 

From ripping off company logos, to stealing real officer’s names and badge numbers to spoofing caller IDs, scammers are upping their game. 

Grace Ricalde, a South Pasadena resident who attended Monday’s fraud awareness meeting said, “I almost fell for a scam. I got an email I thought was from my bank. The email address looked legitimate. The logos were all correct. I stopped to think for a second then called my bank and they reassured me it was a scam,” she explained.  “All you have to do is hit one button and you’re done. I thought I knew everything and I was the know it all because I’m computer savvy, but it can happen to anyone.”

Matt Ingoglia, a Sergeant with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says you should inspect every email you get very carefully and if you have doubts, call the company. “These spoof emails look really really legitimate. We have several people in Pinellas County falling for them on a daily bases.”

RELATED | Pinellas detectives to host five fraud awareness workshops

There’s even a new phone scam where people pretend to be from the U.S. Marshals office or court officers and tell victims they need to pay a fine for missing jury duty. 

The sheriff’s office says a lot of scammers call from outside the US, so once they get your financial and personal information there's no telling how much they can steal from you…and there’s really no way to track them down and get your money back. 

This week’s workshops will be held on the following dates/times and at the following locations:

November 14, 2017 at 11AM-2PM
Seminole Gardens, Peacock Center, 8324 112th Street North, Seminole

November 15, 2017 at 11AM-2PM
Top of the World, East Activity Center, 2069 World Parkway East, Clearwater

November 16, 2017 at 11AM-2PM

Five Towns Community, Magnolia Sun Center 7950 58th Avenue, St Petersburg

November 17, 2017 at 11AM-2PM

Highlands Lakes Clubhouse, 3300 MacGregor Drive, Palm Harbor