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LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) -A New Year brings new crooks. You may get a call posing as an officer but it just not true.

It starts with a simple phone call. But what comes next could be the difference in you becoming a victim of identity theft.

Columbus resident Roger Tousley says, “I answered the phone and a male identified himself as Tom Jones and he said he was with the Columbus Police Department.”

The caller pretending to be a policeman tells you there is a warrant out for your arrest due to an outstanding ticket. For some, this troubling information may just be enough to hand over valuable information.

Tousley says, “I explained to him that I had not received this traffic citation not have I received any paperwork on anything to do with court. He said you didn’t get a traffic citation on Spivey Road December 22nd? I said no did not.”

The caller then says, if you provide your social security number and date of birth it can all be cleared up. If someone receives a ticket there is a process to go through. It’s only after missing a court summons that a warrant will be issued for your arrest, and there are no courtesy calls.

According to Lowndes County LT. Clint Sims, “The court system will send you a letter that you failed to appear and they’ll give you I think it’s 10 days. If you fail to respond to that we’ll issue a warrant out for your arrest and then we’ll come to your house and pick you up.”

Mr. Tousley says it came in as a private call on his caller i-d and when he asked to get the number of the caller so he could call him back, the would-be scammer hung up immediately.

According to Tousley, “My fear is that someone might even give him what he asked for. Especially elderly people maybe.”

Law officers warn you to beware because the new year will bring new crooks with new methods to steal your money.

Sims says, “Unless you contact the agency I would recommend not to give anyone any of your personal information.”

Lt. Sims suggests always calling the number back to ensure you are speaking to who you think you are or make the trip in person. Just a few extra steps can make all the difference to being scammed or not.

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