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Cyber Crime Investigation Against You

[UPDATED 7/18/18 BELOW] On April 26, 2017 we received 2 screenshots from a woman, we’ll call Carrie, who had just been contacted via text by someone claiming to be Officer Rickey Clarke from the Cyber Crime Investigation Department of Texas State.  Carrie, it appears, was in big trouble and had a “legal complaint” filed against her.

Carrie was instructed to call Officer Clarke back at his number, 830-326-4237.

Thankfully, Carrie was savvy enough to see through this scam and sent us screenshots of the texts.  However, we were curious and wanted to see what would happen if we called “Officer Clarke.”  When we called, a man with a slight southern accent answered the phone with “cyber crime investigation department, how may I help you.”  After we gave a name, the man asked us if we received a text on the phone we were calling from at that moment.  Then he asked us to hold and we waited 30 seconds before he came back to say that he had no record of our number and asked for the number of the phone that received the text.  We asked him if we were speaking to an officer in Texas.  He replied with “this is the Wayland County Sheriff’s Office, Texas.”  We asked him to confirm again, as if it were hard to hear him and he repeated the same information, after which we ended the call.
Some things did not add up….

  1. Google shows Officer Clarke’s phone number as being associated with Dilley, Texas.  Not Wayland, Texas.  Dilley, Texas, according to Google, is about a 5 hour, 20 drive south of Wayland and has a population less than about 4000 people.
  2. Officer Clarke said he represented “Wayland County Sheriff’s Office.”  We cannot find a county named Wayland county in Texas (using Google), though we do find Wayland, Texas located west of Dallas.
  3. Both Dilley, Texas and Wayland, Texas are tiny towns.  Why would such small towns in Texas have their own Cyber Crime Investigation units when it appeared to us (using Google) that their police department couldn’t be more than 5 people each.

We decided to contact the Police Department in Wayland, Texas and actually couldn’t locate that information because the Department office is so small and doesn’t have it’s own website.  We contacted the police in nearby Breckenridge, Texas and explained to an officer in Brechenridge what had happened and why we were trying to reach the Wayland Police.  She gave us the name of the Wayland Sheriff and his phone number and we placed the call.  The Wayland Sheriff knew nothing about a Cyber Crime Investigation unit for his town, nor any officer named Rickey Clarke.  We gave him all the information, including Mr. Clarke’s phone number.  He thanked us and said he would look into it.

 

We would have loved to have heard the conversation between the real Wayland Sheriff and “Officer Rickey Clarke!”

On August 3, 2017, we received an email from a TDS reader.  She was contacted about this scam via the following email.  Notice that it came from a Gmail account, not a real police department of government account.  Also, many people online have been complaining about scam calls from the phone number provided in the email, such as these on 800notes.com.

From: ccid txsp <ccidtxsp @ gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 12:35 PM
Subject:

HI, This is officer Mark Dawson from Sheriff’s Department of Texas State. This is regarding a legal complaint
against your name, and your social security number is under investigation. Now before we forward this legal case file to your local Sheriff’s Office call us back as soon as possible only on our direct department number-830-310-6921.

If we do not get any response from your side then we have no option

but to issue the arrest warrant against you in 2 working days. So call us back to be on the safe side.

Thank You
CYBER CRIME INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT.

On October 17, 2017 a TDS Reader sent us this text she received from an unknown number:
A number of people on 800Notes.com are complaining about these texts and the 830-582-8782 phone number you are asked to call.  Complete fraud!

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS ABOUT THESE OTHER SCAMS:

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Learn how Steven got scammed out of $2500 while using Airbnb!

Looking for a good deal online for a new or used laptop?  Don’t buy one from these websites!

[Do you get our weekly free newsletter with the latest scams and tips to stay safe? Sign up now to become smarter and safer using the Internet! ]

On November 8, 2017 a TDS reader sent us this text she received.  Looks like “Officer Dawson” is still at this scam.  He hasn’t even changed his phone number yet!

This is officer Mark Dawson from Sheriff’s Department of Texas State. This is regarding a forward this legal case file to your local Sheriff’s Office, call us back as soon as possible only on our direct department number-830-582-8782.  If we do not get any response from your side then we have no option but to issue the arrest warrant against you in 2 working days. So call us back to be on the safe side.
Thank You,
CYBER CRIME INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT.

On December 7, 2017 a TDS reader reported getting this same scam but from a different phone number than those posted above:  830-328-4791
We found someone else reporting a scam from this phone number. Visit 800notes.com and drop down to August 17.

UPDATE 1/17/18: This scam shows no signs of slowing down.  Weekly, we hear from readers contacted by these scammers.  Today we heard from a savvy woman we’ll identify as “Y.”  Y tells us that she received the same scam text as everyone else.  She decided to call the number 830-328-4791 and reported this to us…

” I just received the following scam text and when I called, a man with a very heavily forced, exaggerated southern accent answered, after I called a 2nd time. He didn’t announce his name, just ‘Cyber Crime Investigation Department of Texas.’ I asked him if he’s so legit, then why is he sending text messages? I could tell he was on a VoIP line. When he started to speak, I hung up on him.”

Here is the same text that Y received…

Update 1/31/18:
Many people are contacting us this January, 2018 about this scam.  Apparently the scammers are pushing really hard to make this work.  The scam phone number claiming to be the “Cyber Crime Investigation Department” is still 830-328-4791.  Another reader just sent us this text…

“Hi, This is officer Berry Richardson from Sheriff’s Department of Texas State.  This is regarding a legal complaint against your name, and your social security number is under investigation.  Now, before we forward this legal case file to your local Sheriff’s Office call us back as soon as possible on our direct department number 830-328-4791.  If we do not hear get any response from your side, then we have no option against but to issue an arrest warrant against you in 2 working days.  So call us back and be on the safer side.

Thank you.
CYBER CRIME INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT”

2 Working days?  Like 2 days that work for me? I’m pretty busy so it might be a while before I have 2 days that work for me.

UPDATE: 2/4/18:  In early February we’ve heard from lots of people who are getting these scam phone texts. These criminals now use the phone number: 830-582-8782

This is officer Mark Dawson from Sheriff’s Department of Texas State. This is regarding a legal complaint against your name, and your social security number is under investigation. Now before we forward this legal case file to your local Sheriff’s Office, call us back as soon as possible only on our direct department number-830-582-8782
If we do not get any response from your side then we have no option but to issue the arrest warrant against you in 2 working days. So call us back to be on the safe side.
Thank You
CYBER CRIME INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT.

================================================

UPDATE: April 16, 2018:
There seems to
be a new variation of the cyber crime investigation scam and it is coming from a scammer in Surat, India!  A TDS reader sent us this text she received today, along with her response.  The scammer wanted her to contact the FTC Law Department using the email ftc.lawdept “@” gmail.com.

We sprung into action, created a fake email account and wrote to the FTC Law Dept. address to ask what was the criminal allegation against us.  Here is the intimidating response we got…

from: Rick Martin <ftc.lawdept “@” gmail.com>
Subject: Arrest warrant ID: – IWN-806/7150E which will be issued on 04/17/2018
Attention,

 
NAME : [OUR NAME REDACTED],
 
This is the last and final chance for you.
 
This Legal Proceedings issued on you Docket no: MC-48509 with one of American Cash Loan Company in order to notify you that after making calls to you on your phone number we were not able to get hold of you. So the accounts department of Cash Advance has decided to mark this case as a flat refusal and press legal charges against you.
 
CASE NO: WDC/6905399
 
AMOUNT OUTSTANDING : $1420.87
 
We have sent you this warning notification about legal proceedings on November 2, 2015 but you failed to respond on time now it’s high time if you failed to respond in next 24 HOURS we will register this case in court. Consider this as a final warning. And we will be Emailing/ Fax this issue to your current employer to make sure they take strict actions against you. Your salary and all your wages confiscated.
 
Do revert back if you want to get rid of these legal consequences and make a payment arrangement today or else we would be proceeding legally against you.
 
And we apologies that this notification will also sent to your current employer. The opportunity to take care of this voluntary is quickly coming to an end. We would hate for you to lose the option of resolving this before it goes to the next step which is a Lawsuit against you, but to do so you must take immediate action.
 
We will be forced to proceed legally against you and once it is processed the creditor has entire rights to inform your employer and your references regarding this issue and the law suit will be the next step which will be amounting to $6300.00 and will be totally levied upon you and that would be excluding your attorney charges. If you take care of this out of court then we will release the clearance certificate from the court and we will make sure that no one will contact you in future.
 
Please let us know what your intention is by today itself so we can hold the case or else we will submit the paper work to your local county sheriff department and you will be served by court summons at your door step.
 
Note : This notice is provided to you on behalf of American Cash Inc. and its parent company , and their respective family of companies including Cash Advance, its parent company, Cash America International, Inc., and all of their respective subsidiaries and affiliates, (hereafter collectively referred to as the “Cash Advance Related Companies,” “we,” “our,” or “us”). The Cash Advance Related Companies include, but are not limited to: Cash Advance, Cash America International, Inc., and all of their respective subsidiaries and affiliates, including those that operate under the trade names Cash Advance, 100 Day Loan, Net loan USA, Fax free Cash, Payday one, Sonic Cash, Money tree, Egg loans, Check cash Loan, Quick Payday, Personal Cash 
Advance, Rapid Cash, Sonic Payday, Speedy Cash, My Cash Now, National Payday, Paycheck Today, Payday OK, Cash Central Loans, Cash Net 500,Cash Net USA, Allied Cash, Super Pawn, Check into Cash, Check Smart, Cash America Net, Cash America, Cash America Pawn, Cash land, Super Pawn, Cash America Payday Advance, or any company-owned Mr. Payroll locations. “You” or “Your” means you as a participant in or as a user of the products and/or services offered by a Cash Advance Related Company.
 
WE MAY REPORT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR ACCOUNT TO CREDIT BUREAUS. LATE PAYMENTS, MISSED PAYMENTS, OR OTHER DEFAULTS ON YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE REFLECTED IN YOUR CREDIT REPORT.
 
TERMS & CONDITIONS YOU AGREED
 
By electronically signing this Loan Agreement by clicking the “I AGREE” button below, you are confirming that you have agreed to the terms and conditions of the Consent and that you have downloaded or printed a copy of this Consent for your records.
 
We believe that this was not your intent and that these steps are unnecessary. We merely require you to contact our recovery asset location department at account:-  (FTC.lawdept “@” gmail.com) from 9.30 to 6.30 (EST).
 
If you want to resolve this matter then immediately contact us through email :-  
 FTC.lawdept “@” gmail.com
 
Thanks & Regards :
Rick Martin.
Financial Crime Enforcement Network,
600 Massachusetts Ave NW,
Washington,
DC 20001-2020 USA
____________________________________________
 
Confidentiality Statement & Notice: This email is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521 and intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. Any review, re-transmission, dissemination to unauthorized persons or other use of the original message and any attachments is strictly prohibited. If you received this electronic transmission in error. please reply to the above-referenced sender about the error and permanently delete this message. Thank you for your Co-operation.
We immediately responded to “Mr. Martin” explaining that we always pay our loans and, as proof, sent him a link to our loan account.  The link was just a tracking analytic.  Ten minutes later we learned that Mr. Rick Martin of the FTC Law Department was located in Surat, India.  According to Google, Surat is a large city beside the Tapi River in the west Indian state of Gujarat. “Once known for silk weaving, Surat remains a commercial center for textiles, and the New Textile Market area is lined with fabric shops.”  We wonder if Mr. Martin can get us a good deal on a new throw rug!

 

UPDATE:  We hear from so many people who get this scam!  We will post new phone numbers used by these scammers below.“HI, This is officer Berry Richardson from Sheriff’s Department of Texas State. This is regarding a legal complaint against your name, and your social security number is under investigation. Now, before we forward this legal case file to your local Sheriff’s Office call us back as soon as possible on our direct department number 830-321-4059.If we do not get any response from your side, then we have no option but to issue the arrest warrant against you in 2 working days. So call us back and be on a safer side.

Thank You.
CYBER CRIME INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT.
830-321-4059″

PHONE NUMBERS AND EMAIL ADDRESSES USED IN THIS SCAM RECENTLY
830-276-2743
830-321-4059
830-328-4791
830-355-4374
830-455-4642
ccidtxsp “@” gmail.com