By Ryan Yousefi
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning to residents after uncovering a text messaging scam in which the perpetrator impersonates Sheriff Gregory Tony.
According to BSO, the scammer allegedly solicits victims to purchase Apple gift cards on Sheriff Tony’s behalf.
The scam has prompted an investigation by BSO’s Threat Management Unit (TMU) in an attempt to apprehend the fraudster responsible.
The Apple gift card scam is part of a larger wave of fraudulent activities that involve coercing people into making payments over the phone for various reasons, including taxes, hospital bills, bail money, debt collection, and utility bills.
In this particular case, the scam starts with the victim receiving a text message from someone claiming to be Sheriff Gregory Tony.
The message known scam works by employing psychological tactics, instilling panic and a sense of urgency, compelling recipients to take immediate action before they are able to fully take in what is happening.
The fraudulent texts request the purchase of Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, or Apple Store Gift Cards from nearby retailers, such as convenience stores or electronics outlets.
Once the gift cards have been purchased, the scammer instructs the victim to share the codes located on the back of the cards over the phone, giving them access to the monetary value of the gift cards.
BSO is urging the public to exercise caution and vigilance when encountering such messages. Sheriff Gregory Tony emphasized that the BSO will never request gift cards, money, personal information, or any form of payment via text or phone calls.
Any suspicious messages received should not be responded to, and individuals are encouraged to report them immediately to law enforcement.
Detective Eric Versteeg, part of the Threat Management Unit, is spearheading the investigation into the scam and encourages anyone who has received these suspicious texts or fallen victim to the scam to come forward and report the incident.
- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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