Action News Jax Investigates: Phone scammers posing as Jacksonville police

Action News Jax investigates phone scammers posing as Jacksonville police.

When we got them on the phone, they even tried their act on us. But, unfortunately, not everyone has been able to see through their deception.

Only Action News Jax spoke with a victim who lost thousands.

The victim didn't want to be identified, but said she came home to a voicemail from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

“I called back, and was told I had missed a jury summons and was subject to massive fines,” the victim said. “I'm in the process of moving, had lots going on, all I wanted to do was make this go away.”

The victim was told to go to the store and get several Green Dot cards. The most you can add to them is $500 apiece.

She agreed to pay, only to learn later it was all a scam.

“I fell for it, very embarrassing,” she said.

She gave the number who called her to the police. Friday, Action News Jax got them on the phone.

“Hello this is Capt. Doug Davis, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office,” the alleged scammer said.

Action News Jax reporter Russell Colburn told the alleged scammers they were being recorded.
Then, things got weird.

“We were actually investigating your mother for fraudulent activities. Your mother's actually a hardened criminal. Is she still doing [federal] time?” the alleged scammer asked Colburn.

“My mother has never been arrested.  What's your badge number, sir?” Colburn replied.

He gave a bogus number, and then Colburn asked for Sheriff Mike Williams. That part is important, because look what he said.

“Chief Williams,” the alleged scammer answered.

“You mean Sheriff Williams, right?” Colburn replied.

“Sheriff Williams speaking,” the alleged scammer said.

“Yeah, Sheriff Williams, that makes a lot of sense,” Colburn said.

“A woman filed a police report saying she was scammed out of thousands of dollars and linked it to your phone number,” Colburn said.

“From my understanding, the only criminal activity that is present is your family apparently being crime bosses,” the alleged scammer replied.

That's right, crime bosses.

That continued for a while, until the alleged scammer hung up.

It was a strange exchange, but the Atlantic Beach Police Department said this is serious, as five other people have reported similar calls.

“It remains deeply embarrassing to me that as a grownup, and a person aware of how ugly the world can be, that I fell for it,” the victim said.

She said she wanted her story shared as a reminder that this kind of business would never happen over the phone.