JCSO: That phone call about your arrest warrant is a scam

Published 1:38 pm Friday, January 3, 2020

Port Arthur and Mid-County residents who receive phones calls about arrest warrants in their names might not be in as much trouble as first thought.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office PIO Crystal Holmes said several people throughout Southeast Texas are reporting they have received a phone call from a Sheriff’s Deputy claiming they have a warrant for their arrest.

“The SCAMMER is using a spoof app that makes the call look like it is actually coming from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office,” Holmes said in a release. “The SCAMMER tells the victim that they can purchase a cash card and to call them back to give the card number over the phone; therefore, paying the fine and having the warrant dismissed.”

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Authorities said this scam is occurring across the United States.

Holmes urges residents not to fall for the scam.

“No law enforcement agency will call to advise you of a warrant and then take your credit card information over the phone to ‘pay it off,’” she said. “Please note the phone number that you receive and block it from your phone.”

Available spoof apps used by criminals make out-of-town phone numbers appear as local numbers.

These numbers are not traceable, police said.

“To avoid becoming the victim of a scam, always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls; never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don’t have ties and did not initiate contact; and trust your instincts,” Holmes said. “If an unknown caller makes you uncomfortable or says things that don’t sound right, hang up.”
Those who question the authenticity of a Jefferson County Deputy are asked to call 409-835-8411.