A man who claimed to be a Brown County Sheriff’s Office employee scammed a 71-year-old Brownwood woman out of $1,500 after convincing her in a phone call that she needed to pay up or be arrested on warrants, Brownwood police said.
There were no warrants for the woman’s arrest, Assistant Police Chief James Fuller said.
“The only time you have to give your financial information over the phone is when you have initiated the phone call,” Fuller said. “We get these scams every year. We get all sorts of different things.
“If any agency call you about a bill or warrant, don’t do any financial transactions over the phone.” Call the agency yourself to find out if you owe any money or are being scammed, Fuller said.
According to a police report:
The woman received a phone call from the supposed sherif’s office employee at 12:16 p.m. Tuesday. The caller, a male, told the woman “she was in trouble with the law” for failing to report for jury duty, the report states.
The caller told the woman there were active warrants for her arrest but said there was a way she could take care of the warrants. The man told her to go to a local store and buy two “recharge cards” of $750 each. Fearing she would be arrested, the woman did what the man instructed.
The woman bought the cards and provided the 16-digit card number and security code for each card. The man told her the payments were complete and said she needed to take the receipts from the cars to the courthouse so the payment could be processed.
After talking with courthouse employees, the woman realized she’d been scammed out of the $1,500.
In other incidents:
• Police responded to the 2100 block of Tenth, where a man said someone slashed three tires on his 2011 Chevrolet Impala. A suspect was identified.
• Police responded to a noise complaint in the 3700 block of Savoy and ended up taking an assault report.
• Deputy Troy Boulter took a report that people have dumped cars in a lot off County Road 551.
• A woman told deputy Jim Cornelius her 19-year-old son is sending her threatening tex messages and calling her multiple times.
• Brownwood police have received several recent reports of thefts and vandalism to election campaign signs. Generally, thefts are occurring at residences, Fuller said via email. Each sign does cost and those costs are beginning to add up, Fuller said.
Police ask that anyone with information or observations are reminded to contact the police. Fuller said he suspects the culprits are “just kids out for the break with nothing to do. But, it is still a crime and does cost money to someone.”