LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Lufkin Police Department says there has been an increase in telephone scams in the past month.
On Wednesday, police received four calls from residents saying they had been contacted by scammers.
"We get multiple calls per week on this, and I'm sure there are a lot more that we never hear about," said Lufkin Police Detective, J.B. Smith.
Smith said there are three scams that are going around the Lufkin area.
The first one is the Nigerian lottery scam, Smith said many times you will receive a call or a letter saying that you have won the lottery. The catch is that you have to pay the taxes on the winning before you can get your money. Smith said a lot of the time they will ask that you put the money on a pre-paid card or send it through western union, but Smith said recently they have been using a new tactic.
"One that we are seeing lately is you have won the lottery tell me what bank account you want this money put into, and we will draft it directly to you," Smith said.
Smith said the second scam is very similar, but this one comes from the Publishers Clearing House, and again they tell you that you need to pay the taxes on the money. Smith said if they sound urgent or request the money over the phone that is a number one sign that it is a scam.
"If it is too good to be true, it probably is. If you did not enter the Canadian lottery, you probably didn't win the Canadian lottery. Don't send someone $5,000 to try and claim your award. If someone ask you to pay up front to secure your winnings, it's not valid," Smith said.
The last scam that Smith wants to warn East Texans about is the IRS scam; many residents say that they received a call from the IRS that they owed thousands in back taxes.
"If somebody is saying they are the IRS or a law enforcement agency, hang up and contact that agency to find out if such is going on," Smith said.
Smith said a lot of times the scammer calling may have a foreign accent, and there will be a bad connection.