The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public to be cautious of scammers posing as agency employees and demanding money. In recent reports of fraud, scammers have called citizens claiming to work for the Sheriff’s Office, threatening them with arrest or claiming that a family member has been jailed and will be moved out of state unless payment is made.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, they will not call citizens about jury duty, to threaten them with arrest or to move a loved one from the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center unless payment is made. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office will not seek funds, gift cards, or bitcoin from citizens.
In some instances, the scammers may make the calls appear legitimate by using a number that appears to be from St. Mary’s County Government or the Sheriff’s Office. This is known as caller ID spoofing, where the caller falsifies the information received on the caller ID to disguise their identity.
In one recent scam, the scammer claimed to work for the Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division and demanded bitcoin from the victim, claiming that a loved one was jailed at the detention center and would be moved out of state unless payment was made.
Another scam involves the scammer providing the name of an employee and claiming there is a warrant for the recipient for failure to pay civil fines. The individual is instructed to bring cash to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office but is advised to pay a portion up front to the caller to avoid being arrested on the way to the office.
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens that no law enforcement agency will attempt to collect money in lieu of serving an arrest warrant and will not request payment with a gift card of any kind.
If you have been the victim of a scam, please get in touch with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at 301-475-8008 or file a report online at https://www.firstsheriff.com/citizenreport/.