Residents Being Warned About Phone Scammers Posing As Police

They’re asking for fines to be paid in gift cards.                                                                                                      


Rockville, Md (KM)  Area residents are being warned about a phone scam involving their local law enforcement agencies.

Montgomery County Police say their Fraud Unit has been investigating reports since June of scammers texting or calling residents, identifying themselves as local or federal law enforcement officials. They tell their victims that there is a warrant for their arrest because they’ve been identified as part of a drug smuggling operation or other criminal activity.

The victims are told they can clear their names by purchasing gift cards at local stores, or they can buy Bitcoin and provide  the codes via text messages or by phone.

The scammers, representing law enforcement, will say the payment need to be made immediately. And the victims cannot tell anyone because of the nature of this investigation, or they will be arrested.

Montgomery County Police say since June, about 20 victims have sent $15.-million to these scammers.

Authorities say neither the Montgomery County Police, or other law enforcement agencies, will   ask residents for their credit card information, or instruct them to wire money or send cash through a prepaid card. Nor will any police agency tell residents they can pay a fine over the phone, by text message or send cash by US Postal Service,  FedEx or UPS.

If you receive this type of call, police say hang up. And then contact your local police and file a report.


By Kevin McManus