The Corpus Christi Police Department wants to inform citizens about scams occurring over the phone that request money.
The police department continues to investigate reports from victims that send “money grams” to suspects who call them over the phone with a scam. A MoneyGram is an electronic money transfer sent from one party to another through the MoneyGram network. The sending party can initiate a money transfer online or in person from any MoneyGram location. The receiving party is then able to collect the transfer as cash.
The suspects who call usually request that the victims purchase a “money gram” and then send them the information. Once the victim gives the suspect the money gram information they are able to obtain cash. Victims are not able to get a refund on these types of purchases.
The suspects use different types of the following scams to get money from victims.
The Grant Scam. A suspect will call a victim and tell them that they have been awarded a grant in a large amount of money. The scammer will then tell them that they need to send a “money gram” in order to process the grant and have it awarded to them. In one report a women sent over $3000 in different amounts in hopes of securing a $9000 grant from scammers. She was called several different times in a few days and told to send “money grams” to various people in different amounts. After sending the money, she was never awarded the grant
The Prize Scam: A scammer will call telling you that you have won a prize and in order to claim the prize you will need to send them money.
The IRS Scam: A scammer will call telling you that you owe money to the Internal Revenue Service and to avoid being arrested by the IRS you will need to send them money.
The Relative Scam: A scammer will call telling you that they are a relative and that they have been injured, jailed or kidnapped and need you to send them money.
The Corpus Christi Police Department wants to warn citizens that these types of crimes are occurring in our city and remind people to protect their money. Do not send money grams to anyone who has contacted you over the phone without investigating who is receiving your money. Anytime anyone ask you to send them money to secure a grant, prize, or lottery winnings it is a scam. The Internal Revenue Service will never contact you by phone to collect taxes owed. A formal letter will be sent to you or an IRS Agent will visit with you in person. If a person claiming to be a relative calls you asking for a money gram to be sent to them for an emergency, contact other family members to try and verify this story and never make quick decisions without investigating for yourself.