PANAMA CITY BEACH- According to the news herald…. A Panama City woman gave all her personal information, including her Social Security number, her date of birth and the color of her hair to a stranger posing as a Bay County Sheriff’s “officer,” according to an incident report.
The 20-year-old woman got a call from “Officer Larry Bailey” while she was at work at a local fast food restaurant on 23rd Street Tuesday. Bailey asked her about a traffic ticket she supposedly received in February.
The woman told him that he must be mistaken because she had never gotten a traffic ticket. The officer then tried to “verify” her identity by asking her a series of questions including her social security number, her address, date of birth and how long she had worked at the fast food restaurant, Deputy C. Evans wrote in an incident report.
“He also asked her if she had blonde hair, she stated no, that she had brown hair,” Evans wrote. “The suspect then told her that there must be a glitch in their computer and hung up.”
The case is currently under investigation, said Ruth Sasser, the spokeswoman for the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone who gets a call from a person they do not recognize who says they are a member of law enforcement should use caution especially if they have had no prior dealings with deputies, Sasser said.
She suggested that people hang up and call the Bay County Sheriff’s Office to verify that they are speaking with an actual employee.
“It’s pretty much common sense,” Sasser said.
Sasser added that in almost every instance an officer will not ask for information over the phone. Instead, they will want to speak to someone in person.
Be Careful and be smart!