Police in Florida have warned about scammers, who pretend to be employees of the Federal Government, calling Pensacola residents. The identified tactic entails telling the targeted person that they either owe money to the government or that their computer has been hacked by a malicious entity. The idea is that the con-artists want passwords to access sensitive information such as bank accounts. According to the report, the callers threaten the victim with jail time if they don’t pay, but only accept payments through gift cards. There are innumerable red flags associated with this scheme, but it highlights the ignorance of both the scammers and the scammed. Obviously, no federal employee would call to inform a citizen of a bill due or possible jail time, and they certainly wouldn’t be asking for payments exclusively through gift cards. (I’m pretty sure the US Government accepts US currency…) Nonetheless, the case is a reminder that there are predators like this out there and they tend to target the elderly- such as retirement homes in Florida.

Until Next Time,

**Written by Benjamin Derge, Administrative Associate. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Benjamin Derge and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Serving Those Who Serve is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.

Pensacola Scam