Scammers are now using the guise of a sheriff’s deputy to extort people into immediately sending money to avoid arrest. According to Montgomery County Sheriff Darren M. Popkin, a phone scam currently going around the country has reached Montgomery County, Maryland residents.
A caller, falsely claiming to be from the sheriff’s office, says that a warrant has been issued for your arrest that will be served unless, of course, you pay up.
“Montgomery County Deputy Sheriffs will never call and threaten to arrest you unless you immediately send an electronic payment,” said Sheriff Popkin. “Deputies will never ask you to place funds for payment on a pre-paid credit card to cancel an arrest warrant.”
The scammer may get specific by giving you his name and “official” rank. The caller might also request personal information so he can clear your name and cancel the mythical arrest warrant.
The scammers may tell their victims to go to a store, get a pre-paid credit card, load it up with money, and then call a phone number with the card information.
Several Montgomery County residents have been targeted. After getting several concerned calls from the public Sheriff Popkin assigned a security deputy to investigate the phony calls.
People can protect themselves from becoming victims of identify theft by never giving out any personal information when getting an unsolicited phone call. Giving out sensitive information over the phone — both personal and financial — can put people at risk for fraud.
If you have received a scam phone call from someone claiming to be a Montgomery County (Md.) Deputy Sheriff who is going to arrest you unless you immediately send money, contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 240-777-7000. Please save any recorded messages, record the date and time of the phone call, the purported name of the caller, the call back number, and their phone number as displayed on caller ID.
For further information contact Sheriff Darren M. Popkin or Chief Deputy Sheriff Mark E. Bonanno at 240-777-7000.