ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a phone scam that has already cost an elderly victim thousands of dollars.
“The elderly are very trusting,” Lieutenant Mike Strausbaugh with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook Wednesday evening about the phone scam, where the caller identified himself as Lieutenant Watson.
“We do not have a Lieutenant Watson here at the Sheriff’s Office,” Strausbaugh said.
The caller then told the victim he had a warrant for missed jury duty and demanded money for the bond. But the Sheriff’s Office cautioned neither it nor the Clerk of Court would call a person and threaten jail time for missed jury summons.
Lieutenant Strausbaugh said the scam cost an elderly victim around $3,000 that most likely will not be recovered.
Strausbaugh said there has only been one victim so far, but with any scam they try to get out ahead of it and spread the word before others fall victim.
“It’s just extremely difficult to track [the scammers] down,” he said. “It’s usually not the guy around the corner that we can easily find.”
Unfortunately, Strausbaugh believes scams like this are here to stay.
“For as many good things that come from technology, there are equally as many bad,” he said. “And this is one of the bad things that comes. It’s just easy to prey on the vulnerable members of our society.”
Authorities urged people to warn elderly family members and befriend elderly neighbors who may not have others to turn to. If anyone gets a suspicious call, they should contact the Sheriff’s Office.
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