SAN MARCOS, Texas – A new, sophisticated scam has caught the attention of the San Marcos Police Department because the scammers are pretending to be police officers.
The SMPD is warning the public of phony calls being made by their phone number. Scammers, the police department says, are "spoofing" the department's number to trick victims out of hundreds of dollars.
One victim said they received a call from the SMPD's dispatch line, 512-753-2108. The caller told the victim that they had an outstanding warrant for unpaid medical bills and must pay the bill immediately.
The victim researched the number and agreed to purchase pre-paid cards for nearly $300 after seeing the phone number matched the police department's dispatch number. The victim, however, called police to double check before handing over the cards and discovered the call was a scam.
"Officers or detectives may contact you and say you have a warrant but we're never going to ask for a gift card," SMPD Cmdr. Kelly Bomersbach said.
The San Antonio Police Department said it hasn't received similar reports, butofficers remain on the lookout.
Both departments have similar advice for those who suspect they may be a victim of a scam: Call the department to verify.
"I would verify information before sending any money to anyone," SAPD spokesman Carlos Ortiz said.
Bomersbach said scammers have, in the past, spoofed other city phone numbers and urges the public to beware of any calls from city numbers.
"Request a call-back number," Bomersbach said. "'Hey, I see you're calling from this number, can I call you back at that?'"