PENDLETON — Police believe they’ve discovered a new email scam and are urging Internet users to be cautious with their money.
Pendleton Chief of Police Marc Farrer announced on Wednesday that his department received a call from a concerned citizen, who said her son was contacted by an email that indicated an arrest warrant for him was issued through the U.S. District Court in Midland, Texas.
The email threatened legal action against the recipient unless money was sent immediately, and the message featured a phone number for a “pay now option to prevent going to court.” Farrer said he found the warrant immediately suspicious because it had several spelling errors.
Farrer said he called the number and spoke to a man with a thick, almost incomprehensible accent. He said the man was hard to understand and acted very suspiciously. After the call, Farrer called the district attorney in Midland, who told him the office had received three calls in reference to the scam.
“One of the problems is, emails are all public. You can pay for a list of them. That’s why everyone needs to be careful about what they respond to,” Farrer said. “Although, in this case, his accent is so thick, he probably couldn’t have gotten any money even if he wanted to.”
Farrer encouraged anyone who encounters emails or notices that seem suspicious to contact police to verify the claims.
“I was able to see through it pretty easily, but to the layperson it can be scary and unnerving,” Farrer said. “Making an arrest and tracking down these people can be difficult, so we’ve got to do the best we can to give people knowledge so they can guard themselves against this.”
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