Crime, Police/Fire

Police: phone scam targets sex offenders

NOTTINGHAM, MD – Scammers are once again targeting registrants from the public sex offender list in a scam involving requests for gift cards and other types of payments.

This scam was first noticed in Baltimore County in December 2018, and now it has returned, police say.

Law enforcement agencies in multiple states have encountered incidents in which these scammers are calling registered sex offenders, posing as law enforcement officers, and advising them that they are negligent in their legal requirements in some way or have missed a scheduled court date.

The caller may provide a callback number and voicemail that sounds like it belongs to local law enforcement. The caller tells the registered offender that they must purchase gift cards or send payment to the sender to avoid arrest or possible criminal charges.

Authorities say it’s important for all residents to know that no police agency, including Baltimore County Police Department, will ever solicit any person for any type of payment to avoid arrest or any type of criminal enforcement action. All calls requesting payment in the form of gift cards, specifically, are scams.

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The best response is to simply hang up on the caller. Should anyone fall victim to this scam, immediately report it to the police by calling the non-emergency police telephone number 410-887-2222 or simply dial 9-1-1.

For additional information on other popular telephone scams check out the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information page on phone fraud.

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