Sheriff’s office warns of more scams, cases of fraud during tax season

No matter where you turn, someone is likely trying to scam you.

Whether it’s through email or phone, or even at your front door, your money could be at risk. If a scammer has contacted you, you’re not alone.

The sheriff’s office fraud line received more than 7,000 calls and emails combined in 2017.

Karin Bean is one of those fraud line callers. A DirecTV customer service number called her, saying they wanted to save her money.

Bean called the company directly to ask what was going on. Apparently, they had already gotten over 400 related customer calls about the fraudulent offer.

DirecTV also told her they don’t make outbound calls.

While Bean didn’t fall victim to the scam, she says it’s convincing.

“They called me by my name, which is scary that they knew my name because my voicemail doesn’t say my name. They were good. Lets put it this way, they were good,” she said.

This is just one of the many scams circulating Southwest Florida.

Other popular scams in Lee County include computer hacking, phishing calls and lottery sweepstakes.

If you’ve received any suspicious messages, the sheriff’s office wants to know.

“We want people to call. We want to hear your story. It may be a 10-minute conversation. It may just be you saying I got this for the tenth time,” said the sheriff’s office.

They recommend that people who receive suspicious calls or emails to delete them and do not engage with them. Don’t ever give away your social security number or any personal information.

As you start filing your taxes, be careful, authorities warn. The sheriff’s office receives the most fraud calls, including IRS scams, in February and April. They also say downloading the latest software on your phone and computer helps protect against hackers.

Reporter:Taylor Bisacky