November 24, 2022
  • November 24, 2022

Travis County DA office warns of phone scam involving Bitcoin

By on November 20, 2021 0

Travis County Attorney’s Office is warning residents of a new phone scam targeting residents.

The DA’s office has received complaints that someone posing as a Travis County investigator or prosecutor is threatening to make an arrest unless the money is quickly transferred through Bitcoin. At least one person paid more than $ 7,000 to a con artist who used a fake prosecutor’s office phone number, the agency said.

District Attorney Jose Garza said his office does not contact residents who request payment to avoid arrest, and that he will never demand in-person payments made in cash, gift cards or Bitcoin.

Residents of Travis County are encouraged to hang up, dial 3-1-1, and report if they receive a call threatening to be arrested, demanding immediate payment, or requesting their credit card or bank account information. . Those unsure of a call can contact the DA office at 512-854-9400.

Fraudulent calls should also be reported to the Austin Police Department and the Federal Trade Commission, Garza said.

Other phone scams are also targeting the Austin area.

Austin Energy said 1,630 scams were reported this year, including 87 customers who lost $ 43,459 in total, against people posing as city employees of Austin Utilities, Austin Energy or Austin Water. Customers were usually contacted by phone, letter, email or text message, but some were visited at their homes.

City utilities said employees never threatened residential customers with immediate deadlines or asked for credit card or bank transfer information over the phone. They also won’t require immediate in-person payment in cash, gift cards, Bitcoin, or any other non-traceable payment method, according to its website.

According to the FTC, scammers often take advantage of the holiday season to take advantage of people by making fake phone calls, such as pretending to belong to a local charity, to gain access to personal information.

The FTC recommends that people ignore calls from unknown – or spoofed – numbers and hang up on all unsolicited calls soliciting donations or personal information. The agency also recommends verifying the information in any solicitation request and avoiding opening or clicking on links in suspicious emails.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Travis County DA Warns of Phone Scam Involving Bitcoin