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Hot Springs officer 'plays along' with text scammer, warns community not to fall into trap

After sending a picture of his cruiser, it took the officer literally texting, "I'm a cop," for the scammer to quit trying.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — It's one scam after the next... Last week people fell victim to the FedEx texting scam.

Now that we have been warned about that trick, another one comes, making our phones light up with more calls and text messages. 

The Hot Springs Police Department posted a warning on Facebook saying, "Here's a lesson that scammers will try to scam anyone," after one of their own became a target. 

It was a Saturday morning when Hot Springs Police Department Public Information Officer, Corporal Joey Williams, said his work cell phone buzzed from an unknown email, offering him $500 to drive around with a logo on his vehicle.

"I told my wife, 'this a chance to kind of educate people and have a little fun with the scammer,'" he said. 

Cpl. Williams said he decided to play along and exchanged multiple messages with the masked person behind the phone. 

"They were telling me about all this money they were going to give me and they said if you just give me your information, I'll mail you a check," he said. 

Cpl. Williams said that's when the trap begins. Then, they'll send you a fake check in the mail, ask you to deposit part of it and send them back the difference. 

"They get their money, you probably spent the money you took out of the account, and you're upside down in your account for a $1000 or $1500," he said. 

Cpl. Williams said even after he sent them a picture of his cop car, they still kept fishing for more information. 

It wasn't until one text that the conversation stopped. 

"Finally I text them, 'I'm a cop,' and they decide not to talk to me anymore," he said. 

Cpl. Williams said this is just one example of one of the many ever-evolving world of scams. 

"As we shut one down and figure one out, they change it just a little bit to go around that," he said. 

Cpl. Williams said these schemers work on one main emotion: fear. 

"If you think it's too good to be true or you feel like it's high pressure or something just doesn't feel right, I tell people all the time, trust your gut," he said. 

According to Cpl. Williams, each season brings a new scam, so with tax season around the corner, he said we will start to see the IRS scams popping up on people's phones. 

"It's the same type of scam. It's the same people, it's the same thing," he said. 

Cpl. Williams said with the digital world we live in, he doesn't see this phenomenon slowing down any time soon. 

"Be aware of what's going on and don't be a victim, be educated," he said. 

Cpl. Williams said if you feel like you're being scammed, get the contact information of the person and call the Hot Springs Police Department and they can let you know whether or not it's a trick. 

If you have already been scammed, he said to report it immediately. 

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