We are seeing reports of scams involving phone calls to Dania Beach residents demanding payment of various Governmental fines via Gift Card transactions. Please pass along this trend/prevention tip to city residents to avoid being pressured by callers alleging to be Governmental officials demanding money by phone and to call the police to verify if they are ever on the receiving end of one of these threatening phone calls.
The phone scams come in many forms such as fake Internal Revenue Service agents saying you owe “ back taxes”, or fake Immigration Agents saying they have loved ones detained at airports and the scam often targets the elderly. Other forms of the scam the suspects pose as utility department workers such as FPL or banking institution or Internet providers demanding sensitive account information that are used to compromise the victims identity online and also demand money payments via gift cards to avoid cancellation of their services. The scam almost always involves demanding the victim drive to their bank and withdraw large sums of money and keeps them on the phone while they do so. The suspects then demand the victims go to a store where gift cards can be purchased and load the currency on the cards to be mailed to addresses out of state. A recent victim resides in Dania Beach and is 80 years old and was scammed out of $4,000 paying bogus fines to a fake Social Security Administration official using gift cards or she would be imprisoned. The victim wisely became worried when the suspect on the phone warned her not to tell anyone about the call, and notified law enforcement.
In closing, if any resident receives a suspicious phone call or email that sounds threatening or demanding for money via gift cards or similar digital communication please contact local law enforcement to report it.