Phone scams in the city of Dallas are on the rise, according to the police. Being aware of scammers’ tactics is the best way to remain vigilant and avoid becoming the victim of a scam.
“The Dallas Police Department has seen an increase in phone scams impersonating local police departments, judges, and other city officials,” said Juan Fernandez, public information officer for the Dallas Police Department, speaking to The Dallas Express.
“The caller will advise the individual that they have fines for outstanding warrants, missed jury duty, or failure to appear for a court proceeding,” he explained. “The caller will demand you remain on the line until the bail bond/fine is paid. In some cases, the caller will ask you to meet at a bail bond office, where the transaction takes place in the parking lot.”
Similarly, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office released a statement warning the public about the same type of scam that is becoming prevalent in the area.
“The Sheriff’s Department has received numerous phone calls regarding an individual that has been making calls claiming to be a lieutenant with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. This person places calls from a pre-paid cell phone with a 972 area code and gives the name of either Lt. Cliff Hale or Lt. Chris Harold,” the statement read.
“The caller tells people that they have an active warrant against them. He then states that the person must pay the money or risk being arrested. The individual asks for people to go to a local grocery store and put money onto a pre-paid debit card. He even stays on the line sometimes to verify they are loading the card correctly.
“He also leaves messages stating this information and gives a call back number with a 972 area code,” the statement continued.
When dealing with fraudulent phone calls, the Dallas Police Department’s Financial Investigations Unit asks the public to please “verify who you are speaking with and never provide personal identifying information over the phone.”
Verification of a caller’s identity is all the more important since caller ID cannot always be trusted. In September, the Dallas Police Department issued a news release warning city residents of caller ID spoofing. This is when scammers use software to create fake criminal justice agency phone numbers that display on caller ID to trick people.
Some local residents are more likely to receive these kinds of calls than others, according to DPD.
“The people behind the phone scams often target the elderly and they suffer the greatest financial loss,” said Fernandez. “However, fraudsters will target anyone who answers the phone.”
If you have suffered a loss involving phone scams, the Dallas Police Department asks that you please contact its Financial Investigations Unit at 214-671-3543 or by email at [email protected], or go to your nearest police substation to file a report.