Bunnell, FL - The Flagler County Sheriff's Office (FCSO) is warning residents of a scam perpetrated using Instagram Messenger. The first victim contacted the Sheriff's Office on June 7 after he went back and forth with the scammer.
The scammer is using the account name ‘rick.staly.5’ and has a profile picture displaying an old uniform photo of Sheriff Staly. He is currently contacting victims on Instagram and Facebook messenger. Instagram, Facebook, and Google have been notified of the fraudulent accounts.
The victim was not a victim for long because he contacted FCSO. He said he received a message saying his name was listed as a recipient of funds made available by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) totaling $100,000. The victim said he messaged asking if the person he was messaging with was the real Sheriff Rick Staly. The only response was contact information for the DHHS’s and instructed the victim to call immediately to claim the funds. That's when the victim contacted FCSO.
“I want the public to know that neither I nor any other law enforcement deputy will contact you online or by phone to ask for money or to send you money,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “It is unfortunate that some people would rather spend their time trying to con people out of their hard-earned money rather than make an honest living.”
FCSO has been investigating since the scam was first reported.
If you are contacted by this account or by someone else claiming to be a member of the FCSO or associated with law enforcement asking you for money in exchange for avoiding jail time or claiming to have money belonging to you, hang up. A law enforcement agency will never call you and ask you for money or disperse money to you. For more information on how you can avoid online scams visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-avoid-scam