Published: May 21, 2010 6:31 PM EDT
Updated: May 21, 2010 6:31 PM EDT

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. - The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has issued a warning to the public concerning phone scams. New phone scam victims are coming forward, despite warnings about the calls that are intended to "separate residents from their hard earned money."

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office provided the following information concerning phone scams:

There are several scams right now. In one, someone claims to be with “the sheriff’s office” or “the police department,” and claims the resident’s credit card has been compromised by someone in custody. They ask for the person’s social security number so they can “red flag” their account.

In another scam, a caller asks people to wire money out of state to help a relative in trouble, usually in Canada.

And in yet another fraud scheme, people receive checks to cover taxes on a lottery win. That money is supposed to be sent to the lottery so the winning check can be issued. Of course, the winning check is never received, and the resident would be required to cover the amount of the check they cashed.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind citizens to never provide personal financial information to anyone, particularly over the phone, and don’t accept alleged winnings from a lottery or contest that they never played.

Finally, no one should wire money anywhere unless they can independently confirm who they are dealing with and that the relative is truly in need.

“Unfortunately, there are predators trying to take advantage of people in this tough economy,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Fortunately, we have not received reports of any victims of these scams, but since they’re continuing, we want to make sure people see and hear this warning and share it with their friends and neighbors.”

Anyone with information on these scams, or potential suspects, should contact the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office at 941-316-1201.