HOUSTON - Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said phone scammers are posing as him to extort money from people.
Herman said Thursday that a woman went to a bank a couple of weeks ago to withdraw $1,400 from her account. The victim said she was told by Herman that she would go to jail if she didn’t pay a fine, the constable said.
“The ironic thing is that teller knows me personally,” Herman said. “The bank that this individual was at was my wife’s bank where she’s the manager.”
Herman said his wife stepped in and alerted law enforcement. He said that when deputy constables arrived, the victim told the caller that the police were there and that was when the caller claimed to know where the victim lives and hung up.
“The guy, actually, that called the lady at the bank, I was told he sounded like me,” Herman said.
Herman said that on Wednesday, as many as five people reported receiving similar phone calls. He said some calls claimed to be soliciting donations for a charity.
The constable said a different version of the scam involved a fake account on Facebook and the social media site's messaging app. Herman said that fake account, which was traced back to Nigeria, has since been deactivated.
The constable reminded people that he would never call strangers to solicit money or threaten them with arrest if they didn’t pay a fine.
Herman asked anyone who has received similar calls to contact his office.
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