DCF warns of fake ‘investigators’
TALLAHASSEE-The Bay County and Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Offices are investigating two separate instances of unknown persons impersonating Department of Children and Families’ child protective investigators this week. DCF reminds parents and anyone involved with children that its investigators always carry proper
identification while investigating cases of child abuse and neglect.
In Bay County, an unknown male and female went to a local apartment complex on Oct. 11 and knocked on a family’s door. The suspect couple said they were from DCF and asked for the baby. The mother told them the baby was with another family member. The male was dressed in a dark-colored uniform that looked like law enforcement or security and the family said he was wearing a “weird” badge. The suspects never produced any identification or explained why they were there to see the child before leaving. The mother called the local DCF office and was informed there was no open case and no one had been sent to see her.
On Oct. 18 in Santa Rosa County, a mother received a call at work from an unknown male subject who identified himself as “Matt Lyles” and said he was an investigator with DCF. The man said he was investigating a case about her son having bruises. The called was described as very professional and knew details about her family, including her name, phone number, place of employment, date of birth, address, child’s daycare, husband’s name and his place of employment.
After the phone call, the mother went to her son’s daycare, who said they had not been contacted and did not notify DCF about any issues. The daycare center contacted DCF and our agency did not have an open case with the family.
Agency officials said they are relieved that the children involved in these two cases are safe.
If you are contacted by someone representing our department and want to verify the identity of an investigator, you can call the state hotline at 1-800-962-2873 or your local DCF office.
Source: Department of Children and Families