ALACHUA ‒ In an effort to protect citizens from falling victim to a scam, the Alachua Police Department (APD) is issuing a warning to the Alachua community regarding individuals impersonating officers and falsely claiming that individuals have outstanding warrants for their arrest. These imposters are demanding immediate payment through various means via transfers, gift cards, or bitcoin to settle these fictitious warrants.

The scam typically involves fraudsters posing as law enforcement officers contacting individuals via phone calls or emails. They use tactics aimed at creating a sense of urgency and fear, informing the targets that they have warrants for their arrest due to various reasons, such as unpaid fines or missed court appearances. To avoid imminent arrest, the scammers instruct victims to make immediate payments to resolve the warrants.

Legitimate law enforcement officials will never demand personal information or payment over the phone and will always provide proper identification when conducting in-person visits.

In a statement issued by APD on April 2, 2024, Chief Jesse Sandusky said, “Please be aware that the Alachua Police Department will not contact you by phone to inform you of a warrant for your arrest, nor will we ask for payment over the phone or through unconventional methods like gift cards or bitcoin.”

Authorities emphasize that these communications are entirely fraudulent, and individuals should not comply with any demands for payment. Legitimate law enforcement agencies do not request payment over the phone or through unconventional methods like gift cards or cryptocurrency.

APD advises that if you receive such a call, do not provide any personal or financial information. Hang up immediately and report the incident to APD at 386-462-1396.

Authorities are calling on residents to help spread awareness of these scams, especially to vulnerable populations who may be more susceptible to manipulations by these impostors.

#     #     #

Email editor@