Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives are encouraging the public to be on alert to a recent phone scam. Detectives were first notified of the scam on Dec. 9.

According to detectives, the suspect identifies himself as an Internal Revenue Service employee working with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office regarding a warrant to collect money they claim is owed to the government.

The victim’s caller ID displays 727-582-6181 which is a phone number assigned to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect may know the victim’s name, a family member’s name and the address of the person being called. Scammers often trick victims into thinking the call is legitimate by “spoofing” or disguising the caller ID number to display a known or trusted source.

Detectives say there have been multiple incidents where Pinellas County citizens have been targeted using this scam.

In previous phone scams, suspects have instructed the citizen to go to the nearest store to purchase gift cards or pre-paid debit cards and provide the numbers on the back of the card to have the warrant purged from the system.

The Sheriff’s Office says it will never call citizens requesting money over the telephone. Detectives advise citizens not to give personal information or account information over the phone and call the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office to report suspicious activity.

If anyone has information on this scam or has become a victim they are asked to call the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at 727-582-6200.