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Phone scam circulating in El Paso County

Published On: Apr 04 2014 07:54:21 PM CDT

Artist uses smart phone app that hides true phone number and connects you to a sheriff's office number.


It's another example of computer technology being used for criminal purposes in unexpected ways.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says it's never seen anything like it before -- a phone scam that sends victims calling the Sheriff's Office.

Lt. Jeff Kramer said investigators learned of the scam this week, after the scam artist  called two victims, one in El Paso County and one in Nebraska. 

Kramer said the scam artist claimed to be a county deputy, then told victims that they owed money for a fine and had to provide a credit card number for payment.

"At least one of them did, in fact, provide their credit card number, their information over the telephone," Kramer said.  "We don't know yet if there's been any kind of activity on that account."

Kramer said the caller used one of several available smartphone apps to conceal his phone number on caller ID, and that the number appearing actually is a Sheriff's Office number.

The Sheriff's Office never calls people to collect money or ask for personal information, Kramer said.

If you receive a similar call, you should avoid providing any information, then hang up and contact the Sheriff's Office at (719) 390-5555.

Kramer said investigators will try to determine exactly what number the scam artist is calling from.