OKEECHOBEE — Recently, Okeechobee residents have been receiving phone calls soliciting donations on behalf of the Florida Police and Troopers Association. The caller, who gave his name as Eric Gordon, claims to be from Sebring, and says he is collecting for local law enforcement officers who have been killed or injured in the line of duty.
Sadly we live in a time where social media and technology, in general, has allowed for the criminal entities to use methods to scam others that very high-tech. Let me make it very clear. The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office will never call you directly to ask for donations. Never, no matter who the person is claiming to be, give any personal information over the computer or telephone.
By now everyone has gotten the robo-calls that look like a trusted number, or at times a local number only to receive a recording or pitch to buy something. Aggravating at best is how I would describe it, especially on a business phone like mine. In fact, most of these calls originated in other countries and “mask” themselves as a U.S. based company.
Here’s a safe way to always ensure you are dealing with a real and factual company.
If for any reason you do fall prey to a scam or give money over the phone that turns fraudulent, please contact the sheriff’s office and file a report at 863-763-3117. But, precaution is the best virtue and most of these companies actually come from out of the country.
If at any time you would like to make a donation, come to the sheriff’s office administrative side or contact me 863-763-3117, Ext. 5018, and I will come to you if you are not able to come to the office.