The Harris County District Attorney's office is sending out an alert about a nationwide extortion scheme now showing up in Harris County.
The scheme involves thieves, posing as law enforcement, who are calling citizens to inform them that a warrant has been issued for their arrest. According to the DA's office, the thieves then tell the residents they must pay a certain amount of money through a prepaid debit card called a "Green Dot Money Pak" in order to get their warrant dismissed.
According to the Money Pak website, once you purchase the card, you can add money to it and make same-day payments to a company without using a bank account. Once the victim adds money to the card, the thieves instruct the victim to call them back with the PIN on the back of the card. The con artists then immediately withdraw the money and transfer it to another account.
"No law enforcement agency, including our office, would ask for you to make a payment in this way," said District Attorney Devon Anderson. "If you receive a call like this, the first thing you should do is look up the phone number for the agency the scammer is claiming to be with and call the agency for yourself. They will be able to tell you whether you have an active warrant for your arrest and, if so, the proper way to resolve the warrant."
The district attorney said there have been several reported cases of individuals in Harris County being contacted by these con artists. Some of those individuals have actually fallen victim to the scheme.
If you think you are a victim or if you have received one of these calls, the DA's office said you should report it to your local law enforcement agency.