Phone scam thwarted by local deputies

Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Deputies responding to an unpaid taxi fare thwarted a scam March 26 in Milton.

At approximately 11 a.m., dispatchers at the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to an individual who was refusing to pay for a taxi cab fare according to a sheriff’s office press release. Deputies were dispatched to the scene.

Upon arrival, an unusual story began to unfold. The 87-year-old individual who rode in the taxi stated she received multiple telephone call from an unknown individual asking to send $250 to an address in Houston, Texas.

A short time later, a taxi arrived to take her to the post office. She stated she didn’t call for the taxi, but she got in and drove to the post office, placed the envelope with the money into a drop box as instructed by the unknown individual then rode back to her home.

The female was then asked to pay the $30 for the taxi ride by the driver. She believed the taxi was already paid for, but she did not have any money to pay for the taxi.

The two deputies that were on scene paid for the taxi out of their own pocket.

The female was then taken to the Post Office by the deputies in an attempt to retrieve the envelope with the money. With the assistance of the Postmaster, the envelope was located and returned to the rightful owner, saving her from a scam and the loss of $250 according to the press release.

According to the incident report the victim was advised not to mail money or gift cards to any entity that she is not personally familiar with, such as her church.

The press release said this is the first time the sheriff’s office has heard of this particular scam.

“Although telephone scams are very common, senior citizens are often targeted due to their kind hearts and willingness to help others.  Thankfully, this scam attempt ended well,” the press release reads.

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