Scammers Impersonate Law Enforcement - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Scammers Impersonate Law Enforcement

Crooks are impersonating local authorities to steal thousands of dollars from victims over the phone most recently, the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office.

“The con artists are calling, they can even spoof the caller I.D. to make it appear to be from the local sheriff’s office,” said Better Business Bureau President Monica Horton.

Victims are told they have an outstanding bond.  If they don’t pay immediately, they could go to jail.

“Anytime they can throw a law enforcement name out there, people think ‘oh my gosh, it’s the sheriff’s office or police department.  I need to call, I need to pay this.’  But they don’t owe anything,” said David Duke, Wichita County Sheriff.

This strategy is called the ‘scare tactic’, which scammers use to instill fear and cloud the victim’s judgment.  Sheriff Duke said fine notices are usually sent through a bail bond company or attorney, not the agency.

“We don’t call people.  The sheriff’s office does not call people about their bonds and collect payments.  Nothing like that at all,” he said.

Scammers will usually ask for money to be sent through wire transfer.  But recently, the Better Business Bureau has also observed green dot money cards being utilized.  It’s a form of payment that’s untraceable and can be purchased at stores like Walmart.

When encountering these type of situations, the best advice is to simply hang up.  But when in doubt, Sheriff Duke said to call the agency and confirm.

“Always ask who is calling such as do you have a name, do you have an identification number?” he said.  “Every deputy has a badge number.  Every employee has an employee number working here at the sheriff’s office.”

If you receive these phony calls, notify authorities and the Better Business Bureau right away.

Wichita County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at (940) 766-8170.

To contact the Better Business Bureau, call (940) 691-1172.

Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel 6. 
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