Killeen Police Warn Public about Phone and Internet Scams

The Killeen Police Department General Crimes Unit is asking local residents to be aware of several different telephone and internet scams that are scamming residents out of thousands of dollars.   We have noticed an increase in several of these scams in the last few weeks.  There are many different scams that have an IRS or Law Enforcement angle to them.  Most of them are carried out in a similar manner as outlined below.

  • Someone posing as an IRS employee calls and tells the victim that they will be arrested unless they pay a fine.
  • The scammer may advise there is a warrant for the persons arrest and it can be stopped by paying a certain amount.
  • The scammer will even transfer the call to a supervisor, if asked.
  • The victim may receive another phone call while speaking with the scammer, advising they are a police officer with the Killeen Police Department. In many cases, they have spoofed one of the main KPD telephone numbers (254-501-8830) in order to appear legitimate.
  • The scammer requests gift cards ranging in the amount of $4000.00-$8500.00 or more from retailers such as, Walgreens, Home Depot, Best Buy and Target.  The gift cards are usually Green Dot, iTunes, Steam, Visa and many more.
  • The scammer stays on the phone with the victim and after each gift card is purchased, they have the victim supply the card number and pin number over the phone.
  • The scammers then redeem the code and abscond with the victim’s money.

There are different versions of the scam but the end goal is always the same, they are trying to steal the victim’s money.  The scammers will usually ask for payment in the form of gift cards.  Sometimes they will promise to provide a large return to the victim in exchange for a small investment (Get Rich Quick Scheme).   If it is too good to be true then it is probably is.  Remember official sources will not ask for payment by gift card or your banking information over the phone.

In addition to the above, there have been several recent reports of scammers posing as service providers, such as cell phone companies.  These scammers are posing as these companies and pretend to alert their intended victims of suspicious activity on their accounts, when in fact they are the scammers trying to gain access to the victim’s account.

Some tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Governmental agencies do not solicit money via phone.
  • Governmental agencies and other legitimate agencies should not ask for payment to be made via any sort of gift card.
  • Be vigilant and do not give out personal information over the phone. Scammers will use social engineering tricks to make a victim believe they are only verifying personal information when, in reality, the victim is being tricked into giving it up.
  • When in doubt, please contact law enforcement for assistance.
  • If you are not sure if the caller is legitimate call the company or agency directly to see if a suspected call actually came from the legitimate source.

Ofelia Miramontez
Public Affairs
Killeen Police Department

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