Scam Alert

DEPORT — Local law enforcement are warning residents to be on the lookout for a new phone scam in which scammers pretend to be utility providers.

Deport resident Roy Morland last week reported a call from a person alleging to represent his power company. Morland said the person told him his meter was misread, and the company would need to overbill him for the coming month to make up the difference. He called the power company, which told him they didn’t call, he said.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever heard of them trying that one,” said Chief Deputy Tommy Moore with the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office.

Moore urged residents to never give personal information over the phone and said he would be wary of even answering the phone if the number looks suspicious.

“Financial institutions will never call you and ask for your info, and I’m not sure if any legitimate business will, to be honest,” he said.

When reports of scams come in, Moore said the department will document them and try to get the word out. However, Moore said there is frustratingly little they can do to counter the scammers.

“It’s next to impossible to track them down,” he said. “What we want to do is make sure as few people as possible fall for them. We get cals each week of new scams that are going around.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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