Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler is issuing a public service announcement regarding phone scammers.
A woman contacted the Sheriff’s Office Thursday reporting a man called her claiming there was an active warrant issued for her arrest for failure to appear for jury duty. The victim reported the man identified himself using the name of a Sheriff’s Office employee. He also named supervisors to “verify” the information, and suggested the victim “Google” the names of the employees for further verification.
The phone number the call was made from was “spoofed,” using the PCSO’s landline. The victim stated she could hear what sounded like a radio scanner in the background of the call. She then reported the suspect provided her with her own personal information, and information regarding a previous speeding ticket she had received.
The victim was instructed the take care of the matter immediately to remove the warrant. She left work and proceeded to a nearby store where she purchased a Green Dot MoneyPak of cards while the suspect stayed on the phone with her. The suspect “walked” her through instructions to make a $3,000 payment to “clear” the warrant by directing her to a kiosk located at the Sheriff’s Office to “pay her fine.”
Once the victim purchased the Green Dot MoneyPak cards, the suspect instructed her to read the numbers on the cards to him as “insurance.”
Once the victim arrived at the Sheriff’s Office, she reported what had happened, and she was informed the caller was a scammer.
An attempt was made to cancel the card transaction, but the funds had already been dispersed to the suspect.
“The Parker County Sheriff’s Office does not accept card payments of any kind,” Sheriff Fowler said. “We will never accept payment to clear an arrest warrant. That is a matter for the courts. We do not have a kiosk station, and we will never contact you regarding payments of warrants.”
If you receive a similar call, Sheriff Fowler suggests you hang up and immediately contact the Sheriff’s Office to report the matter.