Another scam just in time for the Holidays. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several cases where a resident has received calls from someone pretending to be a local law enforcement agency trying to get money for a debt.
Authorities call this tactic, a strong-arm phone scam where time is a factor and the perpetrator constantly pushes the victim to react. The caller will more than likely have the person’s information before calling and may to sound official by asking for you by name and stating your address. Next the caller or predator tells the resident they owe money for various reasons, such as a warrant or even overdue taxes. The predator then tells the victim they should make a payment immediately or to avoid being arrested, some residents have also reported being physically threatened.
The scammer will urge the victim to go to a store and load the money onto a prepaid credit card. Once the victim puts money on the card, the predator instructs the victim to read off the cards unique 14-digit identification number.
Sgt. David Schultz of the Fraud Unit of the Criminal Investigation Division at the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office said “No law enforcement agency will contact by phone a resident requesting them to wire or transfer funds onto a card or any other financial instrument.” Schultz goes on to say “Unless a person knows the individual or business to which they are wiring funds, they should never participate in such a transaction or give up any financial information.”
All reported cases are currently under investigation. Anyone with information on those involved in this scam should contact the Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers at 281-342-TIPS (8477).