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New Year Brings Reminders To Beware Of Scammers

It’s 2022 and the year promises new beginnings, but unfortunately, criminals are still preying on people— dreaming up frightful stories to lure victims into sending money or sharing personal financial information.

It’s time to be very suspicious, when someone unknown to you calls, e-mails, or texts you to report a problem with your accounts.

Recently, an eastside resident called the Volusia Sheriff’s Office to tell us she was contacted by someone claiming to be an Amazon security representative. The male caller told our victim that she had ordered items to be delivered in New York and the victim stated she had not ordered the items.

The caller assured our victim he could help her clear the fraudulent transactions by helping her download an app to her phone using her information. The victim didn’t confirm with her bank that the fraudulent transactions had actually occurred and instead installed the app as the caller instructed.

She checked her bank balance and discovered several withdrawals had been made from her account, totaling nearly $3,000. Our detectives are actively investigating this case.
It’s so important to educate yourself about the ways bad guys can scam you online. The Sheriff’s Office receives calls regularly from people—of all ages—reporting they fell victim to identity theft or other schemes.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has tremendous resources to help guide fraud victims and help you prevent becoming a victim in the first place. Go online to https:// or call 1.866.9NO-SCAM (1.866.966.7226).

This site has information about all kinds of scams and consumer alerts to help empower you.

Signs Of Scams: Beware if you receive:

  • Unsolicited calls or e-mails;
  • High-pressure tactics or too-good-to-be-true offers;
  • Threats of loss if you don’t take immediate action;
  • Requests for immediate payment by wire transfer, credit, prepaid debit, or, especially, gift cards.

TIPS: Here are some ways you can protect your finances:

  • Read your bank and credit account stat-ments regularly as they come in. This will ensure that you spot any fraudulent charges or suspicious activity quickly.
  • Consider consolidating accounts and closing any that you don’t regularly use. Accounts that are rarely used or monitored can be attractive targets for thieves as any theft may go unnoticed for a significant period of time.
  • Lock important documents and records in a safe place, either in your safe at home or safety deposit box. Keep your personal information, check books, and credit and debit cards secure and out of view of guests or workers in your home.
  • Before sharing personal information, such as your Social Security number, with a business, organization, or health provider, ask why it’s needed, how it will be secured, and the consequences if this information is not provided.
  • Check credit reports at least once a year to make sure no fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name. All consumers have the right to a free credit report each year from each of three major credit reporting bureaus at
  • Shred or burn statements, mail, and other documents that contain sensitive personal information.
  • Consider a banking institution that will establish a custodial account or trust that will manage your expenses.

If you believe you’re a victim of fraud or identity theft, we’re here to help. Call the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number, 386.248.1777, or 911 in an emergency.

Please help us help you stay safe by being cautious and smart when you receive unwanted calls, e-mails, or texts. Just hang up! If you’re unsure, talk with someone you trust before giving any personal information.

Let’s all take care of each other
and have a blessed 2022,
Sheriff Mike Chitwood