Suwannee Valley Times is distributed into the following cities and towns: Lake City, Live Oak, Madison, Branford, Dowling Park, Falmouth, Lee, Wellborn, Jasper, White Springs, Fort White, High Springs and Alachua

Fraudulent And “Spoofing” Calls


Last week officers of the Lake City Police Department completed a fraud report documenting $8000 was extorted from a victim.

     Conducted through the app Text Now, where the user can create or “spoof” a phone number, the suspect contacted the victim and had the victim call 386-754-4344. The person who answered the phone pretended to be an officer of the Lake City Police Department. The primary non-emergency lines for the Lake City Police Department are 386-752-4344 and 386-752-4343. The victim was deceived through the change of one number.

     There is an abundance of technology assisting criminals. Apps and services aid criminals in using phone numbers and even caller ID information. Some victims have reported receiving calls from their own phone numbers.

     “Concerning phone calls and other forms of technology, it is vital to remain diligent and skeptical when receiving contact from nearly any source,” said Argatha Gilmore, Chief of Police. “It is unfortunate that we live in a time where someone would impersonate an officer to extort money from another. No law enforcement agency is going to contact a citizen via telephone and request payment. If you have the slightest doubt, always end communication immediately and contact the agency directly.”

     Report “spoofed” numbers and calls to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These agencies have the authority to enforce federal laws that regulate caller ID spoofing, as well as autodialed and prerecorded message calls. You may contact these agencies as follows:

Federal Trade Commission

Bureau of Consumer Protection

600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20580

(877) 382-4357

TTY: (866) 653-4261

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street SW

Washington, D.C. 20554

(888) 225-5322