ELGIN, Texas - The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office is reminding residents to be vigilant and verify after they received a report of a man posing as a sheriff's deputy and scamming a woman in Elgin.
BCSO posted the warning on Facebook, saying that in the past, scammers would call victims telling them they were from the Sheriff's Office and that there was a warrant for the person's arrest, but that this latest report shows scammers are escalating their efforts.
According to BCSO, an Elgin woman reported on Jan. 7 that a man had approached her at her home, identifying himself as a Bastrop County Sheriff's Deputy and confirming her identifying information. He told her she needed to call another number because crimes had been committed using her information
She called the number and was given instructions to empty her accounts onto gift cards and prepaid debit cards, then to give the person on the phone the numbers on the cards, thus giving them complete access to the money on the cards.
The suspect is described as a white man, approximately six feet tall, muscular build, with short blond/greyish hair who was last seen wearing a tan shirt with tan pants and displaying an unknown badge. He was driving a tan police-type car, possibly a Ford Crown Victoria, with a push bar and lights in front.
BCSO is reminding people that if someone you don't know is telling you to put money on a prepaid card or wire funds with MoneyGram or another service, it is a scam.
The office also says to ask for credentials if you question that a person in plain clothes coming to your house is actually a law enforcement officer. BCSO supplies employees identification cards and says you can also ask for a name and employee number to verify with dispatch or the sheriff's office's main number.
BCSO also says to call and verify if someone is asking for money and to not call or trust any number a potential scammer gives you.
"If you can’t verify what they say, don’t send any money. These scammers do this day after day, and they are very good at convincing people," BCSO said. "We don’t want to see our citizens throw away their hard-earned money to these criminals."