Sarasota County Sheriff's Office releases warning about telephone scam

SARASOTA -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is warning the public about a telephone scam that attempts to extort money from individuals who the caller claims is wanted.

According to a release, a man contacted the sheriff's office late last week and said he received a call from someone claiming to be with the "warrants division" who said his wife was wanted for not appearing for jury duty. The caller then told the man to get a prepaid Green Dot card for $1,163 and call him back with the card information.

According to the Clerk of Court's Office, it has received similar complaints.

The sheriff's office said in all the cases it's aware of, residents realized it was a scam and reported them instead of complying with the requests.

"It is important for all citizens to know that the majority of warrants cannot be satisfied without appearing in person at either the jail or in court; fine amounts are paid to the Clerk of Court; and none of these matters would be handled over the phone," a release states.

Similar warnings were issued by this office in December 2013 and by the Clerk of Court in June 2014, according to the sheriff's office.