The Houston Police Department warned Monday of a possible new scam occurring.

Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell has issued yet another warning about local citizens falling victim to phone scam schemes.

McNiell said Thursday that his department had received several phone calls in a two-day period from people who either suspected a call was a scam or who had actually been scammed. One woman indicated a person with a heavy accent claimed her husband would be arrested and jailed by the sheriff’s department if she didn’t send money to a designated location. Another woman said a person – again with a strong accent – told her she owned money to the federal government.

“We can’t caution people enough – don’t give in to these scams,” McNiell said. “They’re running hot and heavy these days only because we’re fueling the situation by giving in.”

McNiell said one scam call apparently came in with the city hall’s phone number displayed on caller ID.

“I don’t know how that happens, but these guys are sharp and they’re getting whatever they can,” he said. “If you get a call and you don’t feel comfortable, call the police department or the sheriff’s department and ask questions. Don’t just deal with these people with these foreign accents because it’s all scamming.

“If they want money and want you to mail stuff, you can rest assured it’s a scam. If somebody wants something from me, they need to see me.”

For more information, or to report a scam, call the Houston Police Department at 417-967-3348.

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