FLOWER MOUND, Texas - Police in Flower Mound helped to close a case involving inmates and jailers in Georgia posing as local officers and asking for payments.
According to a press release, there were at least 53 incidents in North Texas that happened between January and November of 2015.
The suspects called random residents and identified themselves as Flower Mound police officers. They told residents they owed money for either a red light ticket or a missed jury summons.
Police said the suspects ordered the victims to purchase a pre-paid cash card and threatened to arrest them if they didn’t comply.
They were convincing enough to get nearly $6,000 from residents in Flower Mound, police said.
Eventually Flower Mound detectives were able to track the phone calls and link them to an ongoing FBI investigation.
The FBI found inmates in 11 Georgia jail facilities using cell phones given to them by jail employees to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity left, police said.
A total of 16 Georgia Department of Corrections officers, 23 former officers, four private facility correctional officers, three former private officers, one inmate and two civilians are now facing federal charges.
The police department said it hopes the case will remind people that no government entity – local, state or federal – will ever solicit payment over the phone.
Callers who ask for money in the form of a pre-paid cash card also warrant a red flag. Police said many criminals like to use the payment method because the card’s pin number is like cash. Once they’re given out, they cannot be traced or recorded.