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Phone scammer posing as Delray Beach police officer

Delray Beach victim taken for almost $12,000
Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 02, 2023

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Contact 5 searched newspaper articles across the U.S. and found complaints of people posing as local police officers, dialing for dollars in Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Texas and Wisconsin.

The incidents took place all this week, including one impacting Delray Beach residents.

A Delray Beach woman called Contact 5 from a medical facility to say she wanted the scammer stopped.  

"I am laying in a hospital bed, getting ready for surgery this afternoon," therapist Vickie Lichtman said.

Vickie Lichtman said she wanted to sound the alarm about someone posing as a member of the Delray Beach Police Department.
Vickie Lichtman said she wanted to sound the alarm about someone posing as a member of the Delray Beach Police Department.

She sounded the alarm about a scammer posing as a Delray Beach officer, who left the following message on her phone:  

"This call is in regarding to a legal matter that does requires your immediate attention, so could you please give me a callback," the message said and left a phone number with a 561 area code.  

"I called the number expecting the police department," Lichtman said. "And I got his voice saying it was the Delray Beach Police Department, please leave a message."  

Lichtman didn't take the bait, but according to police reports, a 28-year-old woman did. She parted with $2,800 in gift cards and almost $9,000 in Bitcoin.  

"They're calling the person saying, 'You owe a traffic fine or you need to pay for jury duty,'" Delray Beach police detective Normile Saint-Martin said. "No police department, no government entity is going to call you to say, 'You owe this, and you owe that.'"  

Delray Beach police detective Normile Saint-Martin outlines what the public should look for to spot a scammer.
Delray Beach police detective Normile Saint-Martin outlines what the public should look for to spot a scammer.

Saint-Martin said in addition to the 28-year-old woman, five others called about someone posing as a Delray Beach police officer.

"This person is representing himself as a sergeant with the Delray Beach Department, Sgt. John Roberts," Saint-Martin said. "We do not have a Sgt. John Roberts." 

Saint-Martin said we tend to be trusting of law enforcement and that could leave us vulnerable to the scam.  

Just before she was prepped for knee surgery, Lichtman added that the caller is believable and she wants him stopped.  

"I don't like what he did," Lichtman said.

Delray Beach police ask anyone who has received a call from the scammer to give them a call. 

The department also wants people to educate themselves and their loved ones to know they or other government agencies never ask for money for outstanding tickets or fines.  

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