Crisfield PD and State Police both warn about scam callers

CRISFIELD — The Crisfield Police Department and Chief David Dalfonso remind everyone that with the holidays come the scammers and everyone needs to be on guard.

Residents should be suspicious of any telephone calls or mailings that come from a “government agency,” police department, or questionable charity requesting money — and if you are contacted and unsure if it is a scam, don’t hesitate to contact the CPD at 410-968-1323 to confirm.

Likewise, the Maryland State Police warns of similar schemes including scammers claiming to be the IRS, or a family member of the victim in need of bail money after an arrest.

In a frequent scam, the victim is told that they have won a contest or prize money, but in order to collect their winnings, they must buy gift cards totaling a small portion of the total prize they will eventually be sent by the scammer.

Phone numbers are also spoofed, or cloned, and one victim received a call that displayed “State Police” on her caller ID and the number 410-386-3000, which is the actual number for the Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack. When the woman answered the call, the person on the other end of the line told her a criminal complaint had been filed against her.

The victim asked for the caller’s badge number before the caller hung up on the victim.

Along those same lines but using the internet, one con artist spoofed the victim’s boss’s email address and sent out an email instructing the “employee” to go and buy gift cards and then text the codes on the back of the card to a different number saying the boss lost his phone.

“These scammers are using scare tactics and sophisticated technology to attempt to take advantage of the public,” a spokesperson for the MSP stated. “The Maryland State Police would never solicit personal information from any citizen over the phone.”

Anyone who receives such a phone call should hang up and then contact their local state police barrack. Callers may remain anonymous.