A theft investigation was opened this weekend after someone posing as a high-level executive for the Mooyah burger chain duped the local franchise out of more than $1,000.

The Sherman police department was notified of the incident on Sunday, one day after a staff members received an unusual phone call and request.

“It was reported that an employee was contacted on the phone by someone purporting to be the COO (chief operating officer) of Mooyah burgers,” Sherman Police Sgt. Brett Mullen said. “Through deception, he instructed the employee to transfer approximately $1,400 to him via loadable money cards. It wasn’t until the following day that the scam was discovered and we were notified.”

Mullen said such phone scammers often convince victims to transfer money by using specific information to make the request seem authentic.

“A lot of the time, these scammers will use elaborate stories and often know pretty minute details about a person or a business to create a sense of legitimacy,” Mullen said. “That’s essentially what happened here.”

The Sherman Police sergeant said the matter remains under investigation and encouraged anyone on the receiving end of a suspicious phone call to respond with caution.

“We always tell people that if something seems odd or there are any red flags, they should always question it, notify somebody about it and attempt to verify the request before you making the decision to give out any sensitive information or money,” Mullen said.

Drew Smith is the crime and emergency reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at asmith@heralddemocrat.com.