The Parker County Sheriff’s Office has issued a public service announcement regarding phone scams.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said his office has received reports from residents about callers identifying themselves as a sheriff’s office employee, saying the victim needs to pay for an outstanding warrant. Some victims have reported the suspect caller names sheriff’s office supervisors to “verify” the information, and suggest the victim perform an Internet search to verify the employees’ names for further verification.
The victim’s caller ID may display the sheriff’s office landline number.
Fowler said this tactic is a ruse, and the number is typically “spoofed,” to make the call appear legitimate.
“The sheriff’s office will never contact an individual seeking payment for outstanding warrants,” Fowler said.
Other scam calls include the suspect caller claiming the victim has missed “jury duty,” that the victim is the subject of a law suit, and must pay “court fees,” or face arrest.
Some victims have heard what sounds like a radio scanner in the background of the call. The caller may provide the victim with their own personal information, and information regarding previous tickets they may have received.
Fowler said this information may be obtained online from previous traffic tickets or fines.
The victim may be instructed to purchase money cards while the suspect stays on the phone, walking the victim through instructions to make a payment to “clear” the warrant by directing them to a kiosk to “pay their fine.”
The victim may be instructed to read the numbers on the card as “insurance.” Once the suspect has the card numbers, the funds on the card account is depleted and is now worthless.
In other prior reports, the suspect claims to be associated with a certified public accounting office. The suspect asks the caller to verify their correct address and asks which address the victim receives government and federal mail.
“If anyone receives similar calls, we advise them to contact the sheriff’s office or local law enforcement agency immediately to report the incident,” Fowler said.
Questions regarding law suits or court-related fees can be verified by logging onto www.parkercountytx.com, and follow the prompts under the Judicial Records Search.
“We caution the public if they receive calls seeking money, they should always verify the individual and the agency they claim to be associated with,” Fowler said. “The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to simply hang up.”