LUBBOCK, Texas — The Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office said on Thursday that in the last month, it received multiple reports of law enforcement impersonators attempting to scam locals over the phone.
In their latest tactic, scammers used local area codes and the names of real law enforcement officers, claiming they have arrest warrants and trying to get payments over the phone, LCSO explained.
LCSO also said it has gotten four to five calls each day in the last month about these scam calls, with eight people falling victim during the month of January.
“First and foremost, we’re never going to call as law enforcement. We are not going to call you and tell you we have a warrant for your arrest,” Sheriff Kelly Rowe said. “In certain cases, you may receive mail correspondence, but it’ll have a set of instructions on how to take care of that, which would involve going to the court where the warrant is active and taking care of it.”
Scammers tend to target the most vulnerable, the Sheriff’s Office added.
“I think the highest degree of success these individuals have is against our seniors. The ones that have just begun to start to use a lot of new technology; their iPads, email, smartphones,” Sheriff Rowe said.
It’s important to watch out for spelling errors, requests for payments in advance, or timely demands that require someone to give personal information over the phone, he elaborated.
“Let your gut tell you. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it,” Sheriff Rowe encouraged. “If you’ve got somebody on the other end of the line telling you ‘To resolve this problem, you need to get in your car, drive to Target and get a thousand dollars worth of Google Play cards,’ Amazon doesn’t conduct business like that.”
The Lubbock Police Department weighed in on the matter on Thursday afternoon, saying it has not received reports of law enforcement impersonators, but has recently seen callers asking victims to purchase gift cards like a cash advance, which most companies will not do.
When in doubt, Sheriff Rowe said, contact LCSO, Lubbock Police Department, your bank or whatever company the caller claims to be from to verify that their request is not a scam.
Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office sent the following press release on Monday:
“The Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office received several calls from members of the community who stated that callers contact them claiming to be a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office.
The caller will tell the individual (s) that they have a warrant out for their arrest, and that he or she (caller) can take payment over the phone. The caller is very persistent and convincing, at times referring to the citizen by name and using a real name of a deputy to gain the trust of the victim. The caller is spoofing an actual Lubbock County number.
The Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency will never notify any person(s) by phone in regards to a warrant and will certainly Never Request or Demand payment over the phone.
If a citizen is ever in doubt about a call they receive from a deputy regarding a warrant or someone wanting personal information, you are encouraged to call the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number 806-775-1601 and check the authenticity of the call.
We highly encourage citizens not to give any personal information over the phone to anyone they are not familiar with. These calls are SCAMS!
If you have an emergency or wish to make a report, please contact the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office at the following 24-hour numbers:
Emergency – 911
Non-emergency – 806.775.1600“