The Wichita Falls Police Department is warning people about phone scams that could cost you thousands.
Patricia Auger was just relaxing at home when her phone rang. Auger said the caller I.D. was from the Washington DC area. The man who called her, claimed to work for the federal government. He told her she was one of 100 people who had just won a $8,400 grant that she never had to pay back to the government.
"They had my name, they had my address, they had everything except my bank account," said Auger.
Then the phone call took a weird turn. The scammer told Auger before she could get the money she would need to make a donation.
"I needed to get a money order for $250 and send it to the "Poor Boys Club" and then my $8,400 will be put in the bank," said Auger.
That's when the crook asked for her account and credit card number so he could charge the money for the donation. But she didn't fall for it, and police say she did the right thing.
"People will send out e-mails of make phone calls claiming to be a financial institution and your account has been blocked and in order to unblock your account, they need to verify your social security number. Well, if it's a legitimate financial institution, they already have your social security number," said Jeff Hughes from the Wichita Falls Police Department.
Lately, scammers have been asking for gift cards instead of money.
Hughes said, "I guess they think it's not as traceable that way if it's a gift card. But they're looking for the "Greendot" Mastercard or Visa pre-paid debit cards. Just any type of gift card they can get their hands on."
Officer Hughes said scammers usually target the elderly but everyone should keep their guard up and never give out personal information. If they claim to be from a charity, research it on the internet first and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Officer Hughes said so far this year they only have 8 phone scam cases reported but they know there are a lot more victims out there. That's why he's urging anyone who has been a victim to call the Police Department. That way they can gather information about the scammers and possibly get closer to catching them.