The San Angelo Police Department and Municipal Court would like to warn you of a current scam.Someone is posing as a Lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Office and calling residents to tell them they have outstanding arrest warrants for Failure to Appear and Contempt of Court for missing jury duty.  The victim is then told they will go to jail unless they pay their fine immediately.  The victim is then told to buy a Green Dot Money card (usually at Walmart, CVS or Walgreens), load it with a specific amount of cash, and transfer the serial number to the swindler who then transfers the money to another card.

Scam artists are huge fans of the pre-paid cards because they are not linked to a bank account and just like cash, they are untraceable.  Unlike cash, though, the transaction can be done over the phone, so it is completely anonymous, making it almost impossible to catch the criminal.   These cards offer no consumer protection from fraud, so the victim will never get his or her money back.

How to avoid this scam:

1.  Hang up and block the caller.

2. Never give personal information to a stranger.

3. Hang up and call the Municipal court at 325-657-4372 to ask whether residents have reported suspicious phone calls.

4. The Municipal Court never contacts people by phone demanding payment on pre-paid cards or money packs.  On a side note, the Municipal Court Collections Office and the City Marshal’s Office do contact individuals with outstanding warrants by phone and via e-mail to let them know they have warrants.  They are only advised of the warrants, the amount they owe, and payment options, which consist of in person, by mail, by phone or online with a debit/credit card.  Individuals concerned about the validity of the phone calls are encouraged to contact the Municipal Court in person or at 325-657-4368 to verify any information the caller may give them.   Questions pertaining to whether or not they were summonsed for jury duty can be directed to 657-4372.