Watch out for lottery and sweepstakes telephone scams. If you receive an email or telephone call from a lottery or a sweepstakes that you did not enter, it is a scam. In most cases the email accounts are from a free email account and the telephone number is a mobile phone.
Scammers are able to alter caller ID numbers to make it look like they are calling from a legitimate location. They use fake names and often leave urgent callback requests. These criminals try to shock you into providing them your personal financial information on the spot while you are off guard. They generally prey on the most vulnerable people, and often the elderly.
Sheriff Hardy wants to encourage citizens not to be taken in and don't engage these people, and most of all, to
NEVER send any money, prepaid credit/debit cards, or give banking information to the criminals behind these scams.
Remember, any situation where a caller is pressuring you for money, or making you an offer that seems too good to be true, is likely to be a scam. Please don't do it.
Palatka, FL: On Tuesday, January 27, 2015 the Putnam County Sheriff's Office Drug and Vice Unit and Street Crimes Unit arrested 24 year old D'Avaron S. Hardy, of Palatka on an active warrant. Hardy had managed to evade capture since a warrant for the sale of narcotics was first issued in September of 2014. Hardy was taken into custody without incident during a traffic stop after deputies observed him driving away from his Nicole Drive apartment. During the traffic stop, deputies also found Oxycodone pills, with a street value of approximately $420.00, hidden inside the vehicle.
The warrant for Hardy's arrest was a result of a Palatka area undercover investigation conducted by the Sheriff's Office Drug and Vice Unit during which Hardy sold narcotic Oxycodone pills to undercover detectives. Hardy was placed under arrest on the active warrant and additionally charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled substance as a result of the illegal narcotics found in his vehicle. Hardy was transported to the Putnam County Jail where he remains on a bond of $21,012.00.
San Mateo, FL: On January 18, 2015, at approximately 10:10 pm, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office received a call of a suspicious incident at 222 Landmark Avenue in San Mateo, Florida. When deputies arrived they located 34 year old Thomas Joseph Wall, without any vital signs. Detectives with the Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Unit, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Scene Unit, responded to the residence and took over the investigation. The death of Mr. Wall has now been determined to have been a homicide.
Investigators are urging anyone with information related to the murder of Mr. Wall to call Detective Nicole Thomas at (386) 329-0831 or Northeast Florida Crime Stoppers at (888) 277-TIPS (8477). Anyone providing information that leads to an arrest and conviction may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.00.
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office has recently received complaints from citizens regarding individuals telephoning them claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) demanding money. These telephone calls are a particularly aggressive telephone scam. Potential victims are threatened with arrest or other negative consequences if they do not send money or provide banking information. Callers can frequently be insulting or hostile - apparently to scare their potential victims.
Sheriff Hardy would like the citizens of Putnam County to know that the IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any taxes due via the U.S. mail. The IRS will never ask for credit card, debit card, prepaid card, or banking information over the telephone.
If you receive one of these telephone calls and know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you've never received a bill), call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
San Mateo - On January 18, 2015, at approximately 10:10 pm, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office received a call of a suspicious incident at 222 Landmark Avenue in San Mateo, Florida. When deputies arrived they located an individual, identified as Thomas Joseph Wall (34 YOA), without any vital signs. Deputies determined that the individual had sustained what appeared to be a gunshot wound.
Detectives with the Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Unit, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Scene Unit, responded to the residence and took over the investigation.
Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, no additional information is available for release at this time. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.