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Beware of Phone Scam, HPD Investigating

Caller is “spoofing” the police department’s phone number so that it appears correct on caller ID.

by City of Huntsville staff

The Huntsville Police Department (HPD) has had recent reports regarding a scam in which citizens are receiving calls from someone purporting to be “law enforcement” and advising that the citizen has warrants for his or her arrest. The caller goes on to advise that the citizen should acquire a pre-paid Visa, or other credit card, in the amount of the warrant. Once the pre-paid credit card is obtained, the citizen is to call the person back with the credit card information, at which time the person empties the pre-paid credit card. Additionally, the caller is “spoofing” the police department’s phone number so that it appears correct on caller ID.

Although it is normal practice for HPD officers to call persons with warrants, the Department does not ask for payment via a credit card over the phone. Any officer calling will identify themselves by name. The officer will then advise the person of the warrant, or an outstanding payment to the court, and would request the citizen contact the City of Huntsville Municipal Court with any questions they may have regarding disposal of, or taking care of, the warrant or payment.

In regard to this scam, HPD Chief Kevin Lunsford said, “If you receive a call regarding a possible warrant for your arrest, I urge you to contact the police department or municipal court to confirm the information. We at HPD encourage citizens be vigilant in protecting themselves from this scam, and other similar scams.”

The City of Huntsville’s Police Department has held Recognized status since 2013 through the Texas Law Enforcement Agency (TLEA) Best Practices Recognition Program, a voluntary process where policing agencies prove compliance with best practices assisting in the efficient and effective delivery of service, the reduction of risk, and the protection of individuals’ rights.

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