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Police departments, church warn of scams

Posted: 10:21 PM, Jun 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-04 10:53:46-04

 

Within a week’s time, two Coastal Bend police departments and one church have posted warnings online about scams.

“It’s important that these citizens are just vigilant enough to realize what’s fake and what’s not,” Ingleside Interim Police Chief Robert Luna said.

The Ingleside Police Department is where a woman walked in last week saying she’d gotten a call from someone claiming to be one of the department’s officers. The caller demanded that she send him money or he would arrest her. The woman thought it was a scam the whole time and brought it to police.

“She did a good job being able to determine, ‘Hey, there’s something fishy going on,’ Luna said. “She took the initiative to come up here and talk with us, because there’s a lot of folks that won’t do that.”

While the woman was at the police station, the scammer called again. At that point, an officer got on the line, but Luna says the scammer immediately hung-up. Whether he’ll ever get caught is doubtful.

“Unless you know where that number’s coming from, it’s almost impossible,” Luna said. “A lot of these scams are from third world countries. Unfortunately a local police department doesn’t have the resources to reach out overseas to try and figure out who’s the one calling.”

Corpus Christi Police also posted a scam warning on the department’s online crime blotter. The post says that CCPD regularly receives reports of people getting calls like the woman did in Ingleside.

“Although this scam isn’t new, CCPD is wanting to warn again about this phone scam,” the post from Senior Officer Gena Pena said.

A third online warning from Holy Family Catholic Church describes a slightly different, more personal scam. They say that someone is impersonating the priest who runs the church.

“Someone is pretending to be [Father Darryl D’Souza] sending text messages or emails asking for iTunes gift cards and other type of donations,” the post on the church’s Facebook said. “Fr. Darryl would never ask for any money from anyone. Please be vigilant and do not fall for this scam. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the parish office.”