Scammers claim to be HCSO, ask for cash | #phishing | #scams


She said the caller was asking her to send $900 in cash. Luckily, she realized it was a scam before it was too late.

BELLAIRE, Texas — “It’s scary. This is becoming a scary world for me.”

A Bellaire woman is sharing her story so no one else becomes a victim like she almost did.

Rebecca Bunge was unloading her groceries when she got the call.

She didn’t think twice to answer the unknown number because it was familiar and she was expecting a call from an auto shop.

“Because it was a 713 number and I thought it might be the body shop because my car is getting repaired. And he said, ‘Hi ma’am, is this Rebecca Bunge?’ And I’m like … it’s not the body shop,” Bunge said. “He had this native Texan accent. (He) Sounded like a good ole boy.”

The caller claimed he was with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and told her that a citation was issued after she missed jury duty.

“You missed jury duty on January 13, 2022. The judge called your name. You did not answer and he issued a citation,” Bunge said the caller told her.

The man on the phone gave her three options. The first was to spend time in jail.

“He said you can come down, go to booking and we will put you in holding for probably eight to 10 hours. … I’m like, I don’t think so,” Bunge said.

The second option was to drive to a nearby address with $900 in cash.

The last option was to have a warrant issued for her arrest.

Bunge was suspicious, so she kept asking questions. She said his answers are what made the scam so convincing.

“His story was bulletproof. Everything I brought up, he had an answer for,” Bunge said. “And he kept turning it back on me, (saying) ‘I’m just trying to do you a favor. Do you want me to do you a favor or not?’”

Bunge was about to pay the cash when her husband asked a friend who is a lawyer what they should do. The friend told them it was a scam and Bunge hung up the phone. But when she called the number back…

“He answered ‘Harris County Sheriff’s Department,” she said.

Bunge said the scam was very realistic. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they’ve heard about the scam often.

HCSO wants everyone to know that deputies will never call and ask for money. While missing jury duty can be serious, KHOU 11 News legal analyst Carmen Roe says any communication will always come in an official document from the court either by mail or email.



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