Sheriff: Never pay for anything over the phone with gift cards

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay wants residents to know that he will never call them to ask them to pay for anything with gift cards. Scammers have been doing that.

Most recently, deputies said scammers impersonated representatives of the Publishers Clearing House to manipulate a victim into paying a processing fee with gift cards. The victim lost $500.

Amid this and other scams, the department issued a warning for Florida Keys residents on Thursday.

“NEVER PAY FOR ANYTHING OVER THE PHONE WITH GIFT CARDS. This is a sure sign you are getting scammed.”

Deputies also reported the fraudsters are also impersonating representatives of other government agencies, utility companies, and popular businesses to request payment with gift cards for a fake processing fee or fake violation.

Deputies suggest that anyone who gets such a call should “hang up and contact the agency for verification.” Deputies are asking anyone with information about the crimes to call 305-292-7000 or 1-866-471-8477 or the Florida Keys Crime Stoppers page.

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