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Report Suspected Fraud, Waste or Abuse

To help citizens and employees have a direct role, Sarasota County Government has established a toll free Fraud Hotline where callers can report suspected fraud, waste or abuse. Calls to the hotline will remain anonymous when proper reporting protocol is followed. The Fraud Hotline is managed by an independent, outside reporting agency. If anonymity is not important to you, you may identify yourself if you wish. When you call the Fraud Hotline, the interviewer will ask you if you would like to identify yourself.

The Investigative Services Team will review the allegations and determine if an investigation is warranted. The team gathers information and makes recommendations. The caller to the Hotline may be referred to Sarasota County Human Resources (to report Sarasota County employee harassment, discrimination or grievable labor issues) or to Sarasota County Ethics and Compliance (for reporting suspected or observed immoral or unethical employee practices). The Investigative Services Team does not make or enforce the rules. Referrals are made to the proper law enforcement agency when evidence suggests that a criminal activity is occurring, or may have occurred, that warrants a criminal investigation.

By Phone 

Call the toll free Fraud Hotline (855) 506-0304.

By Mail 

If you prefer not to use the Hotline, you may also report suspected fraud, waste, and abuse directly to the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller Fraud Internal Audit Department via mail.  Please address your mail to:

Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 3079
Sarasota, FL 34230

By Fax

You may also fax your inquiry to (941) 861-5704.

In Person 

For walk-in, please visit:

Sarasota County Administration Center
Internal Audit Department
1660 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34236

Definitions and Terminology


Fraud is defined by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners' fraud manual as any intentional or deliberate act to deprive another of property or money by guile, deception, or other unfair means. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal use of government-owned vehicles, supplies or equipment
  • Violations of procurement policy
  • Submitting false vouchers for reimbursements
  • Soliciting or accepting a bribe or a kickback
  • Intentionally misrepresenting the costs of goods or services provided
  • Falsification of official documents (timesheets, leave reports, travel vouchers, financial records, etc.)
  • Theft or misappropriation of funds, supplies, property, or other resources
  • Forgery or alteration of financial documents or computer files
  • Pursuit of a financial benefit or advantage in violation of conflict of interest policies
  • Profiting by self or others as a result of inside knowledge


Waste refers to the unintentional, thoughtless or careless expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use or squandering of government resources to the detriment or potential detriment of Sarasota County. Waste also includes unnecessary incurring of costs as a result of inefficient practices, systems, or controls. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchase of unneeded supplies or equipment
  • Purchase of goods at inflated prices
  • Failure to reuse or recycle major resources or reduce waste generation


Abuse refers to intentional, wrongful, or improper use or destruction of government resources, or seriously improper practice that does not involve prosecutable fraud. Abuse can include the excessive or improper use of an employee or official's position in a manner other than its rightful or legal use. Abuse can occur in financial or non-financial settings.

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  • What is Fraud?
  • What is the Sarasota County Fraud Hotline? Who is EthicsPoint?
  • Why does Sarasota County need a Fraud Hotline?
  • How do I make report?
  • What types of situations should I report?
  • Where do Sarasota County Fraud Hotline reports go?
  • Does Sarasota County management really want me to report?
  • Who can access reports?
  • I'm an employee. If my boss or managers are reported for a violation, will they see the report?
  • What if I remember something important about the incident after I file the report? Or what if the company has further questions for me concerning my report?
  • I am concerned that the information I provide on the hotline will ultimately reveal my identity.
  • Are calls to the hotline subject to Public records?
  • What if anonymity is not important to me, or if I want to be identified with my report?
  • What are some fraud, waste, or abuse terms and definitions?
More FAQs >