The Bexar County Sheriff's Office has now had to change how it informs
people of the existence of an arrest warrant against them thanks to a
new scam being perpetrated against the community.
Criminals impersonating employees of the sheriff's office have reportedly
been calling unsuspecting and otherwise law-abiding individuals and lying
to them by saying they have outstanding tickets and warrants out and unless
they pay a fine over the phone, they will be arrested.
Bexar County Sheriff's Chief Communication Officer James Keith recounts,
"They told her that she had missed a court date and that she had
an outstanding warrant and that if she didn't pay this fine, immediately
over the phone, she was going to be arrested on April 7th." The payment would be untraceable.
"They instructed her to go to HEB, buy a money card, and then call
them back and give them that information," Keith said.
In the past, such fraudulent schemes would be easier to detect when thieves
would call from a foreign country with a foreign number and an accent.
Today, according to Keith, criminals have better technology and can use
local numbers to display.
Keith stresses this scenario is not something the sheriff's office
would ever do. "We're never going to tell you to go to the store,
buy a money card, preload it, call us back, that right there is something
that we're never going to do."
As the sheriff's office has been flooded with calls from anxious citizens,
the office has said that they will notify by mail anyone with a warrant
instead of by phone. If you believe you have been victimized by this scheme,
call the sheriff's office at (210) 335-6000.