From Chief Stephen Carlisle
The Roman Forest Police Department received a report of a scheme by identity thieves who posed as employees of the Police Department and Texas Attorney General’s Office.
On Monday May 12, a New Caney woman received a call from a scammer stating that they were from the Attorney General’s Office claiming that she had a lawsuit filed against her for money owed to the government. The caller read an affidavit that said he could have her arrested if she didn’t cooperate. The caller asked for her social security number for verification. The would-be-victim refused to give the caller any information. The caller asked if she was going to cooperate or should he have her arrested. The victim hung up and within 10 minutes a female called with a fake caller ID from the phone number of the Roman Forest Police Department. The caller claimed to be with the Roman Forest Police Department and she had just received a warrant for her arrest. The fake officer asked why she was not cooperating with the Attorney General’s Office. The caller asked for the potential victim’s bank routing number and checking account number. The victim told her no and the fake officer said that she was coming to arrest her if she didn’t pay $1,349.67. The scammer said that she could give her a credit card number or her banking information. The would-be-victim told her to come and arrest her and hung up the phone. Both callers had foreign accents.
“The best defense to this crime is to notify the public at the first sign of this scheme in the area,” said Chief Stephen Carlisle. “I believe the identity thief impersonated a Roman Forest Police Officer because it’s a local police department and added a since of urgency to the scam.”
According to a May 5th press release by the Texas Attorney General, once victims are alarmed about the prospect of a warrant being issued for their arrest, the identity thieves seek to “confirm” the resident’s Social Security number and other personal information such as address and employer. After the unwitting victim divulges this sensitive personal information, the caller claims that the entire matter can be resolved if the victim immediately pays off their short-term loan. The victim is then told to go to a nearby convenience store, purchase a pre-paid debit card, load it with cash, and call back the identity thief to provide the number off the back of the card. After receiving the card number, the imposter can both steal the funds on the card and use the victim’s sensitive personal financial information to steal their identity.
Notify Chief Carlisle at [email protected] if you were contacted by a similar scammer impersonating a Roman Forest Police Officer