Identity Theft / Scams
Fraudulent Donation Request for our Fallen Heroes
The Harford County Sheriff's Office has received a number of inquiries from citizens who received a phone call where the caller claims to represent the local FOP and is soliciting funds for the families of our fallen deputies. Please be aware, this is not a legitimate request - a scam. Deputies within the Harford County Sheriff's Office are not currently represented by an FOP and union members say the Harford County Deputy Sheriff's Union would never call you to solicit a donation.
If you are interested in making a donation to the families of Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon, please see our Fallen Heroes page.
Thank you for all you have done to support our deputies, and the families of our fallen heroes, through these extremely difficult times.
Fraudulent Service Negotiations
While telephone scams continue to circulate throughout our county with people posing to be IRS officers collecting back taxes, deputies claiming to have warrants, and BGE officials trying to collect funds, a new twist has come to our attention.
The new twist involves suspects responding to ads placed on Care.com and similar websites offering their services. Unsuspecting victims then engage in negotiations with the suspects for the services requested. Once an agreement has been reached, the suspect, per negotiations, sends the victim what turns out to be a fraudulent check, asking them to deposit it into the victim's account. The victim is then asked to withdraw cash from their account to deposit in another account where the suspect can access the funds. This scam includes the rouse of the suspect relocating to this area to begin work for the victim or a request for necessary supplies to complete the job.
When the check from the suspect is ultimately returned by the bank to the victim due to the fraudulent nature of the cashier's check, it is too late and the victim is out the cash deposited in the suspect account.
Legitimate businesses do not participate in these "bait and switch" tactics. If a company or individual asks you to cash a check for them and send back the money, you should look into the company or individual further before proceeding.
Have you seen people panhandling in the intersections around Harford County, recently? Have you ever wondered whether or not you should give them a few dollars? Sadly, many times, the people posing as individuals in need are really SCAMMING you.
What is the best thing to do, when you see someone who may be in need? Offer resources. The Harford County Community Action Agency is your local resource and is happy to assist those struggling to make ends meet in our community. They can be reached by calling 410-612-9909.
In addition, panhandling in intersections is both dangerous and illegal. Stay safe!
Fraudulent BGE Payment Collection
The Harford County Sheriff's Office has recently been advised about a potential scam affecting people in Harford County. The criminals are calling citizens and business owners, claiming to work for BGE and demanding payment on past due bills. The criminals ask for payment on prepaid cards. It is important to know that BGE will never have customers pay bills with a cash gift card. The best way to combat these crimes is by being vigilant. When in doubt, check it out. If you think someone is trying to scam you, contact the business in question to verify the caller's identity.
Counterfeit Money Alert
The Harford County Sheriff's Office, working closely withpolice departments across the state, are warning customers and businesses about an increase in counterfeit currency — particularly $50 bills — which are being passed on to businesses throughout the region. Many suspects have been identified and law enforcement agencies are continuing to assist the Secret Service with additional leads. Anyone encountering suspected counterfeit money is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency for assistance.
The U.S. Secret Service offers a variety of ways about how to detect counterfeit bills. The link also provides photos of proper bills and altered bills. If you believe you have received a counterfeit bill, the U.S. Secret Service advises you to do the following:
- Do not put yourself in danger.
- Do not return the bill to the passer, if possible.
- Delay the passer with some excuse, if possible, and call police.
- Observe the passer's description and their companions. If possible, write down their vehicle license plate numbers, vehicle description and direction of travel.
- Do not handle the counterfeit note. Place it inside a protective cover, a plastic bag, or envelope to protect it until you place it in the hands of law enforcement.
For other safety tips regarding counterfeit money, fraud and scams, please visit the following links:
Two Scams are Circulating in Harford County and Surrounding Areas
In the first, a person calls the victim claiming to be a deputy from the Harford County Sheriff's Office providing a name, rank, and ID number to the victim. The scam artist then tells the person answering the phone they owe money for not appearing before the Grand Jury and if they don't pay they will be arrested on warrants. The scam artist then directs the victim to go to a specific location to make payment. The second variation is similar, the caller claims to be an IRS agent, and says the victim owes back taxes. They scammer tells the victim if they don't make a payment right away, they will be arrested.
THESE ARE SCAMS AND ARE NOT LEGITIMATE.
While the Sheriff's Office does, in fact, serve arrest warrants, and some warrants may have a set monetary bond, the Sheriff's Office does not solicit money over the phone or in person. If you feel you have been a victim of such a scam report the incident to police. Call 410-838-6600.
Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls
Predatory callers posing as the Internal Revenue Service may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information.
The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. The IRS issued a consumer alert providing taxpayers with tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.