The Dallas Police Department would like to make the community aware of a recent lottery scam that occurred in Dallas involving an elderly citizen. The Dallas Police Department would like to alert not only our elderly citizens, but all citizens to be aware of fraudulent scams.
On December 2, 2016, an 85 year old woman received a letter in the mail that led her to believe she had won the lottery. The victim was instructed to make contact with the sender by phone for further instructions. The suspect instructed the victim that she must pay $6000.00 in cash for taxes. The victim complied with the instructions, sent the suspect the cash through FedEx and she received her winning check. When the victim attempted to cash the check, she was informed that the check was fraudulent. This incident is documented on case number 309479-2016.
If you or any one you know has received, and or has been victimized by such scam, please contact Detective Cervantes with our Financial Crimes Unit at 214-671-3544.
Below is a link to a copy of the letter our victim received:
This is a reminder, please do not give money to anyone you do not know. If you receive any mail asking for a large amount of money, please do not engage them and call the police to report the suspicious activity. Please alert any elderly family members, friends, or neighbors of this scam so they do not become a victim of crime.
The Dallas Police Department would like to alert the community about two scam incidents that occurred this week in which elderly female victims were targeted.
On June 20, 2016 at about 1:45 p.m., the victim, who is a 69-year-old female, was approached in the ALDI parking lot in the 3100 block of Forest Lane by a Latin male and Latin female suspect. The male suspect introduced himself and explained that he was an illegal alien and he had just won the lottery. He told the victim he was unable to collect the money because of his status. He said he had a relative willing to collect the money for him, but he needed $20,000 in cash to give as front money for the “relative” to collect the winnings. The suspects promised to pay the victim back after they collected the lottery money. The victim gave the suspects the money. The suspects told the victim they were going to Subway before heading to the lottery office. When the suspects did not return, the victim went into Subway looking for them. She quickly realized she had been scammed, and asked the Subway employee to call for police. This offense is documented on case number 149362-2016.
On June 21, 2016, the victim, an 83-year-old female, met the suspects in the Marshall’s parking lot in the 3600 block of Forest Lane. The victim intended to give the suspects, a Black male and female, a ride because it was too hot to be walking. The female suspect told the victim that she got money from her late uncle and that she was going to donate the money to a Baptist church. The suspect continued to talk to the victim later asking the victim to withdraw money from her investment account. The victim withdrew $20,000 from her investment account. The assistant manager at the bank told the victim that it sounded like a scam and to be careful with her money. The victim walked out of the bank and handed the money to the two suspects, who stated they would give the victim a portion of the inheritance from their late uncle once they received it. The suspects told the victim that they were going to go eat at Braums and they would be back. The suspects never returned and left with the victim’s money. This offense is documented on case number 150246-2016.
This is a reminder, please do not give money to anyone you do not know. If you are approached by an individual asking for a large amount of money, please do not engage them and call police to report the suspicious activity. Please alert any elderly family members, friends, or neighbors to this scam so they do not become a victim.
The Dallas Police Department recently had an incident reported in which an individual was scammed over the phone into paying money to someone claiming to be an IRS agent. The call comes from a spoofed number that looks like an IRS phone number. The person on the phone says a debt is owed to the IRS and a warrant will be issued for your arrest if you do not pay it. The person then gives directions to transfer money into a bank account to resolve the issue.
The Dallas Police Department encourages everyone to follow the scam prevention tips from the IRS.gov website below:
The IRS Will Never:
Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:
Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
On September 28, 2015, the suspects fraudulently collected deposit and rent money from two different parties for a house that they do not have a right to rent out. The offenses are documented on case number 231976-2015 and 226587-2015 . It is suspected that they committed this offense multiple times to various people. They put up “For Rent” signs and met interested persons at public locations to collect the money. The surveillance video shows the female suspect at one of the meeting locations.
The Dallas Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in this offense. If you are a victim or have information that can help solve this crime, please contact Detective Lujan at (214) 671-3548.
The Dallas Police Department is aware that the public is receiving phone calls from suspects who pose as Dallas Police Officers. Suspects accuse the citizen of missing a required court date or jury duty and demand the citizen obtain pre-paid cards and give the card number to the suspect or face immediate arrest.
These calls can be alarming and are meant to intimidate the citizen to the point that they don’t realize it is a scam until it’s too late.
If you get one of these calls, hang up:
The Dallas Police Department would never call or email you to demand payment for a fine you have never previously received a letter about.
The Dallas Police Department would never demand that you wire them money or pay using a specific prepaid card.
Never give out private information (your Social Security Number or account numbers) to any person who calls you.
If you are a victim of this crime, please contact the Dallas Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit at (214) 671-3517
On March 19, 2015, an elderly citizen, who was accompanied by his son, filed a criminal offense report with the Financial Investigations Unit. The victim stated that the suspect, known as “Lisa,” induced him to apply for credit cards and gift cards. The victim suffers from dementia and believed that the suspect was his friend. The suspect engaged in what is known as a “sweetheart” scam and tricked the victim into losing over $16,000. “Lisa” eventually stopped answering the victim’s phone calls. This offense is documented on case number 061419-2015.
The suspect can be seen in the video above with two other females. If you have information regarding this offense or the identities of any of the women shown, please contact Financial Crimes Detective Cervantez, #8101, at (214) 671-3544.
There are several ways to pay bills these days. From the applications on cellular devices, to over-the-phone payments, collectors will receive their money. However, one should never give personal credit or debit card information over the phone unless completely confident in the person on the other end of the receiver. Several telemarketers from companies and organizations call homes all day long, but please note: the water department, utility companies and other service providers will not make a phone call, threatening to disconnect services. Numerous elderly citizens are receiving phone calls from people over the weekend and after normal business hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., demanding immediate payment and threatening disruption of gas, water, electricity and other services. The catch is that the resident is unable to verify the debt because the businesses are closed when the call is received. After convincing the citizen that he or she owes money and it must be paid right away, the “telemarketer” immediately directs the resident to purchase a green dot card or other loadable card, and then demands the card number and pin from the citizen. Within no time, all the money loaded onto the card is transferred into another account and the citizen has lost that money. Often, the resident is targeted a second time because he or she fell prey to the first swindle.
The recipients of these calls are victims, and while this type of crime may be hard to trace, it’s not difficult to prevent. Service providers will never call demanding payment on the spot; therefore, citizens should not make service payments over the phone if he or she did not initiate the phone call. Please help spread the word, specifically to the elderly, that they should not release any personal information over the phone. When someone requests credit and debit card information, instantly conclude the conversation. However, if you or someone you know becomes a victim of a telephone scam, don’t hesitate to call the police.
Since December 2014, Northeast Patrol Division officers have responded to several offenses involving the attempt to sell or buy smart phones on Craigslist. Complainants respond to advertisements and upon meeting the seller/buyer become the victims of crime. A total of five offenses involving the sale/purchase of cellular phones occurred between December 18, 2014 and January 23, 2015. In three of the offenses the complainants were forced to relinquish property/money at gunpoint. All Northeast Patrol offenses have occurred in the general area bordered by Park Lane, Skillman Street, Mockingbird Lane, and N. Central Expressway.
The Dallas Police Department wants to remind citizens that while many Craigslist transactions are legitimate, citizens should be wary and alert during every encounter.
Dallas PD suggests:
Meet in a well-lit, public location. The parking lot of the police or fire station in your area is a great idea!
Arrive several minutes early. If anything about the location, the people, the time does not feel right, leave.
Do not enter the buyer or seller’s vehicle; do not allow them to enter your vehicle.
Remain vigilant during the entire encounter – if anything begins to feel wrong, abandon the transaction.
Take an additional person with you to meet the buyer/seller.
Do not volunteer property or money not previously agreed upon.
If you do become the victim of robbery:
Remain calm and listen to demands.
Do not resist the suspect’s efforts to take your property.
Be alert to the suspect’s physical description (race, sex, age, clothing, tattoos, etc.)
Be alert to the suspect’s vehicle description (make, model, color, license plate, etc.)
Call for police immediately.
If you see something, say something. Report in-progress crime at 9-1-1. Submit crime information to Crime Stoppers at 1-877-373-TIPS (8477), or submit a crime tip online at: http://www.ntcc.crimestoppersweb.com/
Fans visiting any of the College Football Playoff related venues should practice a “buyer beware” approach to spending their money. As with many major entertainment events, there is a possibility of individuals selling counterfeit merchandise, as well as invalid tickets. To avoid becoming the target of a ticket scam or buying counterfeit merchandise, people are strongly encouraged to use authorized, reputable vendors to purchase merchandise and tickets.
In an effort to combat these illegal operations, the North Texas law enforcement partner’s will be enforcing counterfeit trademarking violations for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is also participating with the enforcement effort with additional assistance from the Collegiate Licensing Company and representatives of the involved universities.
These enforcement efforts will not be highly visible. Vendors selling counterfeit merchandise will not know if the person to whom they are selling is an officer or a member of the enforcement effort. People choosing to sell counterfeit merchandise and invalid tickets in North Texas do so at their own risk and face potential criminal prosecution.
Buyer Beware Tips:
Officially licensed merchandise should display a hologram with “Officially Licensed Collegiate Product” or “Extra Yard for Teachers,” which is the College Football Playoff education foundation.
All logos and trademarks are displayed in a tasteful manner; and the manufacturer name should be somewhere on the product, either on the hangtag, a neck label or screen-printed directly on the garment.
Fans are encouraged to buy tickets from reputable, authorized vendors to avoid losing money and a chance to attend the game.
Do not provide credit card information to anyone without knowing that they are reputable business.
When meeting to pick up tickets, choose a well-lit, public area.
Ticket scalping is illegal in Arlington and Dallas. It is a violation to re-sell tickets at any price on the street.
The following was prepared by the North Texas Law Enforcement Joint Information Center.
Today is Cyber Monday, the department would like everyone to be aware and stay safe when shopping online. Below are just some tips for your Cyber Monday Shopping!
Shop on secure sites. They’ll have “https” in the address bar and a yellow padlock logo to the right of the Web browser address bar. Double-click on the lock to see a digital certificate of the website. Review these certificates on unfamiliar sites.
Enter correct URLs. Hackers often buy misspelled domains to trick people into entering information.
Never enter your Social Security number or passwords to email and bank accounts as part of the buying process with online retailers.
Use different passwords for online retailers, personal email and banks accounts. If a hacker cracks one password, he won’t have access to others.
Read site reviews before making any purchases.
Never save personal information on an online retail website. Retailers will offer convenience and better deals, but many customer databases are breached by identity thieves. It’s not worth the risk.
Read website return and privacy policies before making purchases. If there’s any doubt about fairness, find another site.
Be aware of phishing email scams that include website links advertising incredible deals. Don’t click on them. Type the link directly into your browser.
Use credit cards, not debit cards. Try to use credit cards with low limits to minimize the damage if a thief takes over the account. Or, use a “one-time” credit card number from payment processors such as PayPal.
Never link a bank account to an online pay service such as PayPal. Hackers could break into the PayPal account and drain money from the linked bank account.
Never send payment information via regular email. It’s not secure. Make sure all personal information transactions are done on a secure site.
Uncheck boxes advertising “additional offers.” These services are sometimes offered for a low initial fee that later increases to a high, recurring charge on your credit card. Also, they’ll issue your contact information to spammers.
Secure mobile phones used for shopping. Back them up regularly and enable security features such as power on password and inactivity time lock. Learn how to clear browser caches and, if available, enable data encryption and antivirus applications.
As always, install and update antivirus, anti-malware and firewall software on your computer. Update its operating system and Internet browser with the latest security patches.
Update your browser to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Internet Explorer latest version
Don’t click unknown links in your email
Don’t use public computers and unsecured wireless connections
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