Hockley County Sheriff pranks would-be Christmas scammer

Hockley County Sheriff pranks would-be Christmas scammer

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LEVELLAND, Texas -

The Grinch is out and he is in a taking mood.

The Hockley County Sheriff reported more Levelland residents are getting calls telling them they owe back taxes. They're told they will be taken to jail if they do not pay up. 

Sheriff Ray Scifres decided to have some fun with the would-be scammers. After getting a complaint, he decided to call them back.

"He starts to tell me that I've found where I owe back taxes for four or five years and I figure, this guy, they play off of fear, let's, what do you mean five years of taxes?" Scifres said. "He goes on to tell me the story they're going to have me arrested if I don't pay.

"The funniest part of the whole thing was when I asked him do you know where I'm calling from and he says 'from a sheriff's department' and I said 'yes I'm calling from the sheriff's department because I am the sheriff'. And, what was once a very confidant man in telling me I'm going to go to jail is now back peddling and I have to end the call with a very abrupt and 'good day sir.'"

These calls from scammers are not uncommon. Scifres said after posting his encounter on Facebook numerous people came forward saying they got the same calls. He said if you do get one of these calls there are certain things you should do, including never giving out any personal information over the phone.

"Document as much as you can," he said. "Get us the phone number, get us the name they give you, whatever information they give you, copy that down. I'd love to know which numbers these are coming from in case we get the idea we want to call it back."

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