The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has received an increase of reports regarding email scams, as well as scam phone calls which have caused monetary losses.
Below are three recent reported incidents:
1. Celebrity scam- This scam typically comes in the form of an email from a celebrity/and or employee of a celebrity. The email will request money in the form of gift cards, or the email will request information such as bank account numbers, with the promise of this particular celebrity mailing “personal and special” gifts to the victim once the gift cards are received.
2. Rental Car scam- The victim will receive a phone call or email from an individual claiming to be an employee of a rental car company. The employee will state the car was rented in the victim’s name, and when returned drugs and evidence of a violent crime are present in the vehicle. In order to avoid criminal charges the victim must make payment using gift cards or money orders.
3. Vehicle for Sale scam- A vehicle will be advertised for sale on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook, or other various sites, for well under the market value. Once an inquiry is made, the victim will receive a statement about the car, and be provided with a reason why the car is so inexpensive and the need to sell the vehicle quickly. The victim will then be instructed to pay for the vehicle with eBay gift cards on a website that the victims report look legitimate.
Citizens are advised to use good judgment when conducting transactions on the internet and not to share personal information such as Social Security numbers, financial institution information, and bank account numbers.
If you have been the victim of a scam and wish to make a report, contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008.