It’s rarely a good sign when a phone number from the police department shows up on your caller ID.
And when it’s not even the police department calling from that number, that’s even worse.
That’s the situation The Colony Police Department is warning residents about.
Officer Brian Lee said police have received reports from residents about spammers “spoofing” TCPD’s non-emergency number (972-625-1887), which is when they use a legitimate number to show up on a caller ID in hopes of tricking the resident.
When the resident answers the call, the caller tells the person there is a warrant out for their arrest and demands a payment.
Lee said a dispatcher told him about the incident earlier in the week, and another one told him of a separate incident Thursday.
“Scammers are so sophisticated now,” Lee said. “They now have it to where it shows our number on their caller ID, and they think it’s real.”
Lee said so far police have not heard of any residents in The Colony falling for the scam.
But he said scammers try to get their money in different ways, such as demanding the resident give them financial information over the phone to avoid being arrested, driving to a location to drop off money or purchasing a gift card.
“People are taking advantage of the pandemic,” Lee said. “People are vulnerable, and these are so advanced.”
Lee said the scams aren’t limited to the police department phone numbers. He said there have been reports of similar scams. He said one example is a scammer pretending to be from the Texas Workforce Commission, seeking personal information from people who may be unemployed and seeking benefits.
“Criminals are good at figuring this stuff out,” Lee said. “Citizens have to be very, very vigilant. If someone ever asks for any information over the phone, don’t give it out. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”