The Harris County Sheriff's Office is alerting the public about a scam involving suspects that contact victims by telephone or email claiming to be law enforcement officers collecting debts.
The scammer will try to intimidate the victim by threatening to put the victim in jail if the money is not paid.
The impersonator will ask the victim to purchase pre-paid gift cards and provide him/her with the card information when he/she calls back. In most cases, the victim has no knowledge of any debt.
In some cases that have been brought to the attention of the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the scammer falsely claims to be Sheriff Adrian Garcia. The phone number that appears on the victim's caller ID is even that of the Harris County Sheriff's Office. However, it is important to know that the Harris County Sheriff's Office does not solicit or collect money for unpaid tickets, fees or any other debts over the phone or via email.
If you receive such a phone call, never give any personal information to the caller. Make the scammer answer your questions. Always get a call back phone number and never send money to anyone you don't know.
If you do indeed have a debt that needs to be paid, make the necessary arrangements with the entity to which you owe money.
If you feel you have been a victim of such a scam, please contact your local law enforcement agency and the Better Business Bureau.