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Crooks posing as law enforcement officers and targeting citizens during the holidays

Posted at 1:25 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 17:20:26-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A new warning about crooks posing as law enforcement officers during the holidays and asking for money.

A Delray Beach woman told WPTV that she received a call on Thursday from someone claiming to be with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

The caller, which came from a 561 number, asked for donations as well as money for a yearbook for fallen officers, according to Brooke Raybold.

"They kind of pull on your heart a little bit," said Raybold. "Oh, it's for the fallen officers, we have to show appreciation for them."

Raybold said the caller knew her address and told her someone would come to her home to pick up the money. She didn't fall for it and hung up.

"You think there's some legitimacy, then they go so far as to say an officer is going to show up and collect your donation or whatever obligation you say you're going to give," said Raybold.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said it never solicits money from people over the phone, and this is a scam.

Steven Spitz said he got a similar phone call, but the caller said they were from the Palm Beach County Benevolence Association.

Spitz said the caller wanted a check and would send someone to pick it up.

"It also seemed legitimate that they were going to have an officer pick it up," said Spitz.

He said he had second thoughts about saying no because of the law enforcement involvement.

"Can I really say no to the police benevolence association? They protect me here," Spitz said.

The PBA said they will call and ask people for donations, but they will never send someone to pick up the money.

Earlier in the week, the Martin County Sheriff's Office posted a similar warning on its Facebook page, saying crooks are sending e-mails, claiming to be from Sheriff William Snyder or another Sheriff's Office staff member.

The e-mails ask for donations and gift cards.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office told WPTV it never sends e-mails asking people for money.

WPTV's Miranda Christian is working this story, and will have updates throughout the day online and on air.