The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has received reports of some of its phone numbers being spoofed by scammers. These reports span the state, from Pensacola to Palm Beach, with scammers purporting to be FDLE members in order to defraud citizens.
Spoofing is when a caller makes it appear as though they are calling from a different number than they actually are. For example, a scammer calling from a different area code might spoof a local number to make their targets more likely to pick up. Scammers may also spoof publicly available numbers of law enforcement agencies or entities like the IRS to give credibility to their fraudulent threats.
Scammers may call threatening some sort of legal action, such as arrest or freezing of their social security number or bank account. They then demand immediate payment, usually in gift cards, wire transfers or other difficult-to-trace methods, in order to make these legal problems go away.
This is not how the legal system works, and FDLE does not call people like this. Scammers attempt to prey on victims’ fear and confusion to steal and defraud, but one of the best counters to their schemes is an informed public.
If anyone receives such a call from someone purporting to be with FDLE, they are encouraged to call 850-410-7000 to report it.