LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Near the beginning of February, Consolidated Communications Fraud Division notified Lufkin Police Department that several telephone service customers had received telephone calls from unknown persons falsely claiming to be Consolidated Communications staff. Based upon the information from Consolidated Communications and complainants from victims, Lufkin Police Department Detective O. Almond began an investigation into the scam and related offenses. "The scam information was presented to the public through multiple local media outlets but Lufkin Police Department Officers continued to receive reports from citizens who had been victims to the scammers" stated Detective JB Smith, Public Information Officer for Lufkin Police Department.
Lufkin PD's original release regarding the scam stated that the scammers had called customers and claimed that the customer's account was past due and that failure to make payment by credit card during that telephone call would result in the immediate telephone service disconnection. Detective Smith stated; "Lufkin PD received reports from victims who provided their personal information and credit card number to the scammers only to have the scammers immediately use the credit card to make fraudulent purchases."
On Thursday, February 18, 2010, Detectives from Center Police Department and Lufkin Police Department arrested two suspects in connection with these telephone service scams. According to Detective Smith, Detective Almond and Center Police Department Detective Joey Haley worked together to identify suspects and today they executed a search warrant at a Center, Texas residence. "They collected evidence related to the telephone service scams and the related credit card abuse, and arrested two suspects for the offense of Credit Card Abuse" said Detective Smith.
Shalonda Marcelle Reed, a twenty-nine year old black, female, of Center, Texas, and Ladarren Antonio Reed, a twenty-two year old black, male, of Center, Texas, were arrested for multiple offenses of Credit Card Abuse, a state jail felony offense under Texas Penal Code § 32.31.