Hockley County Sheriff confronts phone scammers
LEVELLAND, TX (KCBD) - Nobody wants to receive a scam phone call, but it happens to everyone. In fact, one local sheriff says he's had enough and has decided to confront them directly by calling them.
Actually, Sheriff Ray Scifres of Hockley County takes it a step further. He records and posts his interactions with the scammers to the Hockley County Sheriff's Facebook page acting as an undercover victim to set the scammers up. He's been doing this since December, getting tips from citizens and calling those scammers directly.
"One time I called a phone scammer, I gave them a totally made up name but they still somehow the name in the records and there was a $5,000 bill," Scifres said. "They said they were going to arrest me if I didn't pay it."
Scifres says they get these types of responses from the scammers all the time because it is all a scam. He doesn't call these scam artists to fall a victim to these tricks himself, but to get answers.
"Its a financial scam, they will use threats, coercion, and intimidation to try to get someone's money and get their personal information," he said. "All to get bank account, or in some cases, have them go and transfer money from one account to the other."
Sometimes when he makes these calls, it doesn't always go his way.
"I am going to be honest, I get a little bit disappointed when they hang up on me, but its truly worth the information even if they hang up on us," Scifres said. "We have identified yes this is a scam so we can make aware if you get a call from this number do not respond to it."
While these calls might be entertaining to watch Scifres do, it's all to bring awareness of scam callers.
"I have to admit its a little bit fun, but the whole purpose behind it is about trying to get information," he said. "So we can then turn around and say this is who we called, this is the number it came from, this is a working phone number and do not accept calls from it."
The sheriff is making these videos and posting them to spread awareness of scam callers. He does not advise you to call the scammers back yourself. Instead, just ignore the call if you can and if you do talk to them, never give out any of your information.
If you would like to see Sheriff Scifres' videos calling the scammers, click here.
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