WACO, Texas – The Waco Police Department is warning Central Texans about a new phone scam.
HobbyTown owner Rossana Costa and her husband Ronald Perkins receive many scam calls at their business – in fact, they just had one Tuesday requesting social security information.
“Everyday there is phone calls. When they start asking questions for personal information to confirm, social security number or the number of the company, then it’s a red flag,” Costa said.
Several locally-owned businesses around Waco have received phone calls from scammers claiming to be the Waco Police Department, and are asking for money.
“They will ask you for your personal information,” Officer Garen Bynum told FOX44. “The majority of government agencies out there already have your personal information, and they are not going to ask you for that.”
Waco PD says its officers are not calling any businesses for money. The department is also reminding people that officers do not charge money for citations that are issued. Those are received by the Waco Municipal Court.
Costa says before she gives information over the phone, she always does research to make sure the company is legal. She says HobbyTown also uses precautions to keep their business protected.
“Password changing, and making it longer with signs and stuff to make it difficult,” Costa said. “[Scams are] all over right now. It’s really scary.”
The Social Security Administration also warns the public about the widespread number of telephone scams deceiving people into providing sensitive information or money.
Other HobbyTown employees say they also receive multiple scam calls a day.
“The first thing that gives it away is that right off the top they start asking for personal information,” employee Daniel Almeida said.
“Always be leery. Make them give you more information. If they don’t give you information, they will just hang up or give up,” employee Eric Lux said. “Criminals usually want any easy target. They don’t want someone who is going to push back.”
If you have any questions regarding this, you can reach out to the Waco Police Department.
If you aren’t sure if you owe any money to the Police Department, you can contact the Records Division and they can help direct you appropriately.