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Slam The Scam

Regular readers of this column know that scam artists will never stop coming up with ways to separate people from their hard-earned money.

Unfortunately, in the ultra-connected world we live in today, there have never been more opportunities for scammers to reach new victims.
Whether it’s on the phone, via e-mail, in person, or all of the above, there’s just no limit to the dishonest creativity of these thieves – and they seem to be everywhere.

The latest scam that has hit our residents is a new twist on an old routine. It starts out like many other scams—you get a call, a message, or an e-mail from someone posing as technical support, warning you of a virus on your computer.

• Or you hear from an official-sounding law enforcement representative claiming you owe money for missing jury duty, or to clear up an arrest warrant, or to bail a relative out of jail.
• Or someone claiming to represent your bank or other financial institution claims your account has been compromised and (by their fraudulent reasoning) you’ll need to provide funds to secure it.

These are just a few examples, but there are more every day.
Lately, these scammers have been directing their victims to find their nearest Bitcoin ATM—of which there are many popping up all over our county—and deposit thousands of dollars of cash to resolve whatever fraudulent issue they just made up.

Just the other day, a senior couple from DeBary deposited $20,000 at a Bitcoin ATM at an Orange City gas station. A few days prior to that, a Deltona woman put $7,400 into a Bitcoin ATM at her local Circle K.
These scammers can sound very convincing, and they use pressure tactics to stress you out and steer you into hasty decisions you wouldn’t otherwise make.

The best thing you can do is stay skeptical and hang up when in doubt! Call the Sheriff’s Office 386.248.1777 or find your local district office listing at volusiasheriff.gov We can help you identify scams.

Remember, legitimate entities will not ask you to pay at a Bitcoin ATM, or via gift cards.

If you want to learn more, join us for Slam The Scam Day on Thursday, March 7. At 4:30 p.m., we’ll be holding a presentation at DeBary City Hall where we’ll discuss what to look out for and how to avoid falling victim.

Even if you can’t join us, please spread the word about this important topic and help us make sure our residents keep their money in safe hands – their own!

Stay safe,
Sheriff Mike Chitwood