Phone scams ramp up in Pasco Co. during the holiday season

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pasco sheriff’s deputies are warning residents about a phone scam going around the county.

Detectives have received numerous complaints from citizens.

Investigators say phone scams are on the rise because of the holiday season.

“So, during the holiday, we tend to see scams, especially phone scams, become a lot more relevant. People are reaching out because they feel they have a lot more money to spend around the holidays,” said Detective Spencer Hubbell with the Economic Crimes Unit.

Thieves call and pretend they’re with a local business.

“It could be a variety of things. It could be a local hardware store or an electric company, maybe a contracting company. Anywhere where there would be a high dollar amount,” he said.

The scammer tells you, you owe them money.

“We’ve seen it where people are saying they have an outstanding balance for work that they weren’t billed for or they’re saying for security purposes, they’re going to need a copy of their driver’s license to hold on file if the person were to come back in. Obviously it’s bogus. No company is going to request that type of information over the phone.”

Veronica Kauchak said she gets calls from scammers all the time.

“I’ve had so many in the past, there’s different things I’ve done,” she said. “I go, ‘Do you feel guilty about what you’re doing to people, you know, do you have a conscious?’ So he just hung up on me,” said Kauchak.

She knows they target senior citizens and puts out warnings in her area.

“When I hear there’s something going around, where you’re getting a call that often, I let the people in my neighborhood know what’s happening because people have actually thought it was serious, that they had to go to court or pay a fine,” she said.

Detectives said never give out your personal information over the phone. Call the company if you suspect fraud.

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