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Scammer poses as law enforcement, tries to have woman wire $3,000

A woman in Southwest Florida says a man tried to scare her into wiring $3,000 to him.

On Tiffany Barnes’ way home from work Tuesday, she received what was a seemingly worrisome voicemail from a law enforcement officer.

“This is Sergeant Thomas Orr from the Naples Police Department,” the voicemail said. “I need Tiffany Barnes to return my call. This is a nonemergency matter, but it is requiring your immediate attention.”

So Barnes called the number back.

“He knew judges in Collier County. He knew my name. He knew the police department,” Barnes said.

Barnes said the person who answered the phone said there’s a warrant out for her arrest.

“At the same time, you need to give us $3,000 to pay a surety bond to ensure that you don’t go to jail, and the warrants are frozen,” Barnes recalled the demands.

Barnes didn’t realize something else was going on when she nervously called her wife.

“At first, she tells me, ‘I don’t know. I thinks it’s a scam,” Barnes said. “I was like, ‘No, the numbers coming from Naples PD. I think that this is for real.’”

Rich Kolko, WINK News Safety & Security Specialist, said scammers are smart. They use apps to make their phone number look like the real deal. They’re going to make threats to you, your family and your money.

Barnes said that’s what happened next. The scammer told her to get the money, but don’t bring it to the police station

“He told me, ‘Now, you have to go to Wells Fargo and put it into an ATM,” Barnes said.

Barnes didn’t do that, but she did lose her cool.

“I Should’ve knew then,’ Barnes said. “But I was so nervous and overwhelmed with everything that was going on.”

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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