Texas AG warns consumers about identity theft scam

By Bryan Cohen | May 7, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott warned consumers on Monday about identity thieves who are posing as employees of his office to try to steal the identities of targeted individuals.

In April, approximately 200 Texans reported receiving telephone calls from scam artists posing as employees with Abbott's office. The imposters tell the victims that Abbott's office launched a criminal inquiry against him or her and claim an arrest warrant was issued due to the recipient's purported failure to repay a short-term loan.

After victims become alarmed about the potential of a warrant being issued for their arrest, the scammers seek to confirm the resident's Social Security Number and other personally identifying information. When the victim has given the scam artist the information, the caller claims the matter will be resolved if the victim immediately pays off the short-term loan. The victim receives instructions to go to a convenience store and load a pre-paid debit card with cash.

The identity thief tells the victim to provide the number off the back of the card, which allows the imposter to steal the funds on the card and use the personally identifying information to steal the victim's identity.

Some residents reported giving more than $2,000 to the imposters.

Abbott's office does not solicit payments from Texans to pay off short-term loans, nor does the office issue arrest warrants for this purpose. Abbott's office typically only pursues arrest warrants for individuals who are wanted for contempt of course because of their failure to make regular child support payments.

Texans who think they have been a victim of the scam can file a complaint with Abbott's office.

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