The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about potential imposters identifying themselves as law enforcement officers as part of telephone scams.
PCSO said Saturday that a suspect left a voicemail to a local resident identifying himself as “Sergeant Christopher Hill.”
According to PCSO, “once the citizen called the phone number back, they were transferred to another suspect identifying themselves as Lieutenant Paul Ellison. After identifying himself as a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office employee, the suspect informed the citizen that they had an outstanding warrant. The suspect then instructed the citizen to send money via Bitcoin and Zelle to take care of the warrant.”
Police said the suspect called from 727-354-4454 and the number may also appear as coming from 727-582-6200, the main phone number for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The law enforcement agency said deputies and other personnel will never call residents asking them for money via telephone.
Other police agencies across the U.S. have also been reporting scams involving fraud rings impersonating officers seeking money to settle outstanding warrants and fines.