The Maryville Police Department is warning Blount County residents of a texting scam it has recently learned about, the city announced in a press release.

Some residents have received texts from a party claiming to be various law enforcement personnel including, in least one instance, Police Chief Tony Crisp.

The text demands immediate payment or the possibility of jail time. Scammers also might continue to harass the people if they ignore the text.

No law enforcement or other government official will contact a citizen in this manner or demand payment in a text message, the release said.

If residents have questions or want to report a call, they are encouraged to call the agency directly.

Maryville Police phone numbers are:

• Emergency: 911

• Office: 865-273-3700

• After hours non-emergency: 865-983-3620.

Residents who become the target of a scam should never click on a link in a suspect text or return a questionable call.

“Please share this information with family members, neighbors and friends, especially those who may not see this information online,” Crisp said in the release.

“With so many ways to target community members and their hard-earned money, it is important that you always remain on alert and never respond to potential scammers. Always call a trusted agency to help you,” he said.

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