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Collier County Sheriff's Office warns of phone scam

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Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Collier County Sheriff's Office warns of phone scam

By Kathleen Jones. CREATED Feb 3, 2014

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Pay the price or go to jail . That's the scare tactic the Collier County Sheriff's Office says phone Scammers are using to steal your cash.

 Florida is number one in the country for both fraud and identity theft,
Law enforcement officials say scammers see dollar signs in the Sunshine State and look here to steal.

Lt. Chad Parker said last week, the Collier County Sheriff's Office got multiple calls about the same message.

"They were contacted by people who said they missed court or had an unpaid fine and unless they paid a fee right now over the phone there would be a warrant out for their arrest." Lt. Parker said.

That scare tactic, is the same one used on Angela Shoch who said the so-called police officers tried to scam her out of hundreds of dollars.

"They said well you have to go to wal mart and get a green dot card and pay 470 dollars or the warrant will be issued in the next 30 minutes." Shoch said.

But asking for money over the phone  is not how Lt. Parker said they get the job done.

"What they're hoping is that you feel like if you don't do it now you'll be arrested. If you're in any trouble with law enforcement were not going to demand payment or you'll be arrested . You will be arrested." Lt Parker said.

Angela said she knew better and didn't pay but had to change her phone number because the scammers called more than a dozen times.

"Something needs to be done to stop these people because there's a lot of innocent people out there that really don't have the money like myself to just go blow money like that." Shoch said.

 Lt. Parker says stopping the scammers isn't exactly easy.

"You can use voice over internet protocol services like magic jack where you can use an area code for whatever city you want it to be including Naples but then the suspect resides anywhere in the world." Lt. Parker said.

" If you think you've been a victim or have been contacted by scammers you can call the Collier County Sheriff's Office "call before you pay" hotline at 239-252-2255.