Whenever a natural disaster takes place, that is when you will find more and more phone scams happening trying to steal your hard earned money. With the devastation in Louisiana, be on the lookout for phone numbers calling you asking for donations on behalf of organizations such as the Red Cross. Remember, those groups will never call you directly. If you want to donate, the best bet is to go to the real organization's website and make a contribution there.

Locally, we have been informed of a new phone scam claiming to be the Amarillo Police Department. Folks here in Amarillo have reported receiving a phone call from the APD dispatch number, (806) 378-3038, and the male on the phone claimed to be a Lt. Clements. Spoofing a phone number for scams like these are common place. It only takes a piece of software or an app to mask your phone as a different number. I have had it happen to me personally and my friends as well.

On these "APD" calls, the scammer told the citizen that they were under investigation for receiving photos of a juvenile that were of a sexual nature. They then told the citizen that they would be arrested if they didn’t pay a fee or agree to meet with the family and pay them. Remember, if you are being asked to pay something, most likely it is a scam. Also, a huge indicator that it is a scam is when someone tells you that you need to pay using gift cards. When is the last time you paid your taxes using gift cards???

APD wants to remind everyone that their organization will never ask anyone to pay something over the phone. If you are not sure whether or not a call is legitimate, call the Amarillo PD's Crime Prevention Unit and they will answer any of your questions. They want to also remind you to do your research, don’t give out ANY personal information, and ask questions. Disconnect and contact your local law enforcement if you are unsure.