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Houston County Courier - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company

TDPS warns of telephone scams using its name
Houston County Courier

The Texas Department of Public Safety has issued a warning of telephone scams using its name. Scammers have been calling Texans in various parts of the state, demanding that residents immediately pay for overdue red-light tickets. The most recent incident was reported southeast of Houston County in Cleveland, where police say that residents have received calls from someone claiming to represent DPS and demanding payment on a red-light safety camera ticket. The scammers say that an arrest warrant will be issued if the person receiving the call does not provide a credit card number, as well as Social Security numbers and other personal information. The Texas Department of Public Safety does not collect traffic fines or oversee red-light cameras. “You should never give out personal information over the phone when someone else initiated the call,” said Steven C. McCraw, director of DPS. “If you receive a call like this, you should write down any contact information from the Caller ID, if available, and then contact your local law enforcement agency.” DPS also reminds Texans that the department does not call requesting charitable donations. “The Department of Public Safety will never solicit financial contributions from private citizens. DPS is funded by tax dollars and our employees will never call your home or business to solicit donations,” McCraw said. DPS advises citizens not to give money to these groups as the funds may not go to the causes that are claimed. Some of these organizations suggest that official looking decals resembling official DPS affiliation placed on personal vehicles may somehow keep the individual from receiving a traffic citation from law enforcement. If you are contacted by a group you believe is misrepresenting itself as part of the Texas Department of Public Safety, contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-621-0508.


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