FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — Frederick law enforcement warns Frederick County residents to be aware of ongoing phone scams, specifically ones with spoofed numbers coming from local county numbers.
They said people have been getting calls from spoofed numbers such as the Sheriff’s Office main numbers (301-600-1046) and the Frederick County Health Department main number (301-600-1029).
A scammer using the Sheriff’s Office number may pose as a law enforcement official such as a lieutenant or sergeant and tell you that you need to report to the Sheriff’s Office for a warrant, police said.
They will then tell you that if you want to avoid that, you can pay them a certain amount through purchasing gift cards and giving them the codes or even asking for bank or credit card information.
The calls coming from the health department tell people they have lost their benefits, Medicaid or are being asked to pay something.
Police said if you feel the call is suspicious, or are unsure if the number is legitimate, hang up and re-dial the number to try to confirm he information given to you, when you do this, police say you’ll be calling the actual number and can speak to a legitimate representative to help you.
The Sheriff’s Office also said it regularly sees phone scams that are requesting access to computers, where they will tell you there is a virus on your computer and they need access to fix it- but once they get remote access, the scammers will steal identity and account information.
Scammers will also tell you that a grandchild or someone close to you has been arrested and needs bail money. Police said the scammers will then try to direct you to buy a specific amount of gift cards such as Google Play, Amazon, or iTunes.
Frederick County officials also said during tax seasons, scammers may call you and say they are with the IRS and say they have warrants out for your arrest, or there has been an issue with your tax return.
Police say in those cases it is best to ignore those calls or not engage.