Scams originating from telephone calls and emails continue to skyrocket here in Atascosa County. We are seeing one to two victims a week that have lost substantial amounts of money. Many of these victims are elderly, but certainly not all of them. Most of these scam phone calls originate outside of the United States where the call goes through a switcher, such as in New York, and comes to you in the form of a U.S. phone number. The main thing I would like everyone to remember is, if they (the caller) tells you that you won money or have money coming and they want you to put up money first, it is a SCAM. You did not win anything, trust me. As a matter of fact, you are fixing to lose money if you follow their instructions.
Recent scammers have asked for money, gift cards, gaming cards and anything of value. They want you to send off the money or cards before they will send you anything. Don’t fall for this. Please call us at the Sheriff’s Office and we’ll check it out for you first. Other scams come in the form of a call from someone pretending to be a relative in trouble, such as a grandson or nephew, that needs money quickly to get out of the “fake trouble” they’re in. We can check these out fast and identify whether it’s a scam, before you send money or give them a credit card number.
Telephone calls where the caller says he is a local law enforcement officer (that you very well may know) or claims to be a State or Federal agency requesting you send money or be arrested, are ALL SCAMS. No law enforcement agency or government agencies operate like this.
Again, bottom line, call us or your local law enforcement agency first and don’t send off money to these scammers. Know this, we cannot get your money back and there is a 99% chance the scammer can’t be identified or ever arrested.
If you get a call, email or other communication requesting money please do not hesitate to call us at 830-769-3434, extensions 2223, 2227, 2228, 2226 or 2225. After hours, push 1 and tell the Dispatcher you need to speak to the Sheriff or an investigator immediately about a scam.
Until next time, don’t lose your life savings, be smart and prepared and notify law enforcement.
And like always, holler if you need anything.
DAVID SOWARD is the elected Sheriff of Atascosa County and holds a Master Jailer’s License as well as a Master Peace Officer’s License from the State of Texas. He can be reached at david. firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-769-3434 ext. 2225.