LEE COUNTY, Fla - Authorities are investigating two separate instances of unknown persons impersonating
Department of Children and Families' child protective investigators this
In Bay County, an unknown male and female went to a local apartment complex
on Oct. 11 and knocked on a family's door. The suspect couple said they
were from DCF and asked for the baby. The mother told them the baby was
with another family member. The male was dressed in a dark-colored uniform
that looked like law enforcement or security and the family said he was
wearing a "weird" badge. The suspects never produced any identification or
explained why they were there to see the child before leaving. The mother
called the local DCF office and was informed there was no open case and no
one had been sent to see her.
On Oct. 18 in Santa Rosa County, a mother received a call at work from an
unknown male subject who identified himself as "Matt Lyles" and said he was
an investigator with DCF. The man said he was investigating a case about
her son having bruises. The called was described as very professional and
knew details about her family, including her name, phone number, place of
employment, date of birth, address, child's daycare, husband's name and his
place of employment.
After the phone call, the mother went to her son's daycare, who said they
had not been contacted and did not notify DCF about any issues. The daycare
center contacted DCF and the agency did not have an open case with the
A DCF spokesperson says they are relieved that the children involved in these two cases are
Thursday WINK News traveled with a real investigator to show you how to spot a fake one.
Real investigators always carry proper identification while investigating cases of child abuse and neglect, including a badge and a state ID.
If you are contacted by someone representing the department and want
to verify the identity of an investigator, you can call the state hotline
at 1-800-962-2873 or your local DCF office.