GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) — Most people will do just about anything to avoid going to jail. That’s why one scam in Garland can be especially effective.

Authorities in Garland say scammers have been calling and threatening to put people in jail for outstanding warrants over the past few months. That is, if the requested money is not sent.

The city actually held a warrant roundup last month in an attempt to collect on outstanding warrants, requesting that people come in and pay their fines.

The scammers are taking a different approach.

“These guys are so good at it that they’ve even been able to program their phones where it will show up like it’s the City of Garland phone number,” said Joe Harn with Garland Police. “The difference is that they will threaten these people to put them in jail if they don’t pay their warrants.”

Callers are requesting that money be sent to an address other than the Garland Municipal Court, which is at 1791 W. Ave B.

Police have been investigating the scam, which has primarily targeted older people, but have been unable to identify any suspects.

“They’re leaving messages. We’ve been able to call back. We’ve even put a sample of one of the persons identifying themselves as a warrant officer with the Garland Police Department,” said Harn. “We do not have a warrant division within the police department.”

Authorities are encouraging anyone who receives a call like this to contact the City Marshall’s office at (972) 487-7341.

“Just be cautious about anybody representing themselves as a city official,” said Harn. “We’re not going to make threats. Call us and verify that the information given is correct.”

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