Scams are all around us in Texas. These scams can come in the form of an email with a .exe file that could compromise your email or computer. These scams can come in the form of a text message that wants to steal your money. Other scams can come through a phone call to your cell phone or home phone. The latest phone scam that is going around East Texas involves a caller saying he is from the Smith County Sheriff's Department saying there is an urgent legal matter and needs money to resolve it.

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Notice from Smith County Sheriff's Office

The Smith County Sheriff's Office sent out a notice to all media saying that a "Legal Matter Scam" is being carried out in East Texas. The caller will identify themselves as Sgt. Tim Jones or Sgt. Justin Hall with the Smith County Sheriff's Office and that they need to discuss an urgent legal matter with you. The caller will then say you need to pay some amount of payment to resolve the legal matter.

How are scammers able to call if the number is on the "Do Not Call List?"

The National Do Not Call Registry was set up so individuals could have their phone number, both cell and home, removed from a telemarketers call list. Problem is, scammers have found ways to get around this list by listing themselves as a charity or law enforcement agency. They could have also bought your number from a data breach of a company.

If you get a call from a scammer after putting your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, you can report the number that called you at

What to Do if You Get the "Legal Matter Scam" Call

If you get a call from someone saying they are with the Smith County Sheriff's Office and that you owe money for whatever reason, just hang up. You can verify the scam by calling the Smith County Sheriff's Office at 903-566-6600.

If you feel that you have become a victim of this scam, please call the Smith County Sheriff's Office at 903-566-6600. They do warn that it is very hard to investigate where the call came from or who the caller is due the sophisticated equipment that is used to spoof a phone number.

Why Report the Scam

Reporting the scam, whether you're a victim or not, let's the sheriff's office know it is being used in the county and can warn residents about it so no one else becomes a victim or wastes their time talking to these scammers.

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