Tuesday, July 8, 2014


The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office has received 3 recent reports of attempted fraud using telephone scams.

Two citizens, who reside in the Mechanicsville area, reported receiving phone calls from male callers identifying themselves as "Officers". In the first instance, an "Officer Foster" left a voice mail message requesting his call be returned and warned citizen(s) at the residence not to drive until he or she called "Officer Foster" back. The complainant did not return the phone call. The phone number where the call came from 202.864.1728 has been reported on various internet websites as a SCAM. The second complainant received 4 separate phone calls from 914.364.9546 and 800.678.0507. A male caller with a foreign accent left a voice mail message identifying himself as a "Federal Crime Investigator". During another call, the male caller identified himself as "Officer Frank Martin" and during another as "Officer Dan Blackmore". The male caller wished to discuss alleged legal issues with the complainant. When the complainant refused to provide personal information, the caller became irate and cursed loudly at the him. Both numbers have been reported on various internet websites as a SCAM.

A citizen who resides in Dameron, reported he received a phone call from 210.299.0977. The caller had an accent and stated he was from "Windows". He indicated Microsoft had given permission to call the complainant to discuss "issues that had been spotted on his computer". He directed the complainant to go to www.is.lonline.net where he was directed to download certain requested information. Recognizing this was a SCAM, the complainant hung up.
It should be noted: while I was typing this press release/public service announcement, (about 10 minutes ago), I actually received a phone call on my personal cell indicating I had won a $50 pre-paid VISA gift card from Direct TV. The caller had a thick foreign accent. I immediately HUNG UP. I'm not sure if this is an actual SCAM. However, the call met all the criteria - so why take the chance.

Please remember: If you get a call from someone you don't know asking and pressuring you to divulge personal information - like your credit card number or your Social Security number - it's likely a SCAM. HANG UP.  These phone call SCAMS come in all different shapes and sizes -  ALL with the intention of HOOKING YOU and TAKING YOUR MONEY. They also use the mail, text messages, or computer ads baiting you to call them for more details. Most often they come in the form of travel packages, credit and loan opportunities, business or investment opportunities, charitable causes, "high-stakes" foreign lotteries, extended car warranties, and "free" trial offers. Some callers tend to target specific groups of citizens; however EVERYONE is a potential TARGET.

The Federal Trade Commission has more great information on it's website at www.consumer.ftc.gov . Citizens can always call the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office to report a SCAM or for assistance at 301.475.4040. Please feel free to send your SCAM experiences to me at cara.grumbles@stmarysmd.com or as a personal message to our facebook page at www.facebook.com/firstsheriff. Sharing information is great way to KEEP INFORMED.