The Travis County district lawyer’s workplace is warning residents about a brand new cellphone rip-off concentrating on residents.
The DA’s workplace has obtained complaints that somebody posing as a Travis County investigator or prosecutor is threatening to make an arrest until cash is promptly wired by way of Bitcoin. A minimum of one particular person paid greater than $7,000 to a scammer who used a pretend district lawyer’s workplace cellphone quantity, the company stated.
District Lawyer Jose Garza stated his workplace doesn’t contact residents looking for fee to keep away from arrest, and it’ll by no means demand in-person funds made with money, reward playing cards or Bitcoin.
Travis County residents are inspired to hold up, dial 3-1-1 and report in the event that they obtain a name threatening arrest, demanding speedy fee or requesting their bank card or checking account info. These unsure a couple of name can contact the DA’s workplace at 512-854-9400.
Different cellphone scams are concentrating on the Austin space as effectively.
Austin Vitality stated 1,630 scams have been reported this 12 months, together with 87 clients who misplaced a mixed $43,459, to folks posing as staff of Metropolis of Austin Utilities, Austin Vitality or Austin Water. Clients have been sometimes contacted by cellphone, letter, electronic mail or textual content, however some have been visited at their houses.
Town utilities stated staff by no means threaten residential clients with speedy cut-off deadlines or ask for bank card or wire switch info over the cellphone. They additionally won’t demand speedy fee in particular person with money, reward card, Bitcoin or any non-traceable type of fee, according to its website.
In line with the FTC, scammers typically use the vacation season to benefit from folks by making bogus cellphone calls, similar to pretending to be from an area charity, to realize entry to private info.
The FTC recommends that folks ignore calls from unknown — or spoofed — numbers and hold up on any unsolicited calls looking for donations or requesting private info. The company additionally recommends verifying info in any solicitation request and avoiding opening or clicking on hyperlinks in suspicious emails.