Sheriff's Office seeks victims of Internet scammer
Harris County authorities are investigating a man they say attempted to scam several Internet users of adult sites out of money by claiming to be investigating them for a phony law enforcement agency.
Shawn DeWayne Morris, 40, is charged with impersonating a public servant. He was being held in the Harris County Jail on Monday, April 23, and no bond had been set. He was out on bond on a 2011 theft charge and was awaiting trial when he was apprehended on the latest charge. Authorities said Morris also has a criminal record.
Authorities alleged Morris used a website to find potential victims, who he then asked to meet with him outside a store in far northwest Houston, during which time he was posing as an investigator with the Houston County Police Department, an agency that does not exist.
At that in-person meeting, Morris reportedly showed the victim a folder bearing the words, "Harris County Warrant Information" and said he could get the case dismissed for $4,000.
Now real detectives from the Harris County Sheriff's Office want to get in touch with as many of Morris' alleged victims as they can find, according to a news release.
Anyone with information about the scheme is urged to contact the Harris County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Bureau at 713-221-6000.
Sheriff Adrian Garcia said victims have nothing to fear in talking about their experience because they also can use the phone number to make sure they are talking to genuine investigators.
"We need to disrupt this type of criminal operation," he said, adding they also hope to make Internet users aware that they should never share their identity online with someone they do not know and trust.
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