A new scam has emerged within Carroll County, and law enforcement wants you to stay safe.
On Sept. 13., the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office posted a new scam alert on its Facebook page. With a quick repost, the Carrollton Police Department shared the alert with its followers. A handful of citizens warned others of the honorable figure within the community seeking money. This scam is one of the phone varieties, and it all starts with a voicemail.
A citizen misses a call and is left a voice message. The person who leaves the dire message is Officer West, a trusted official within the community. Panicked, the citizen calls the officer back, and when they do, they are quickly told to call 911. Immediately after 911 is dialed, the citizen is given two options: Press 1 for the jail or 2 for warrants. For trusting citizens, this call can seem normal. However, this is not the case. Officer West is not a real officer but rather an individual soliciting money.
This scam, which is plaguing the Carroll County public, is under the category of Imposter Scam. This occurs when a scammer goes undercover as a trusted individual or group gaining access to private information. False names, phone numbers and easily accessible personal information can make the scam more believable.
“Scammers are good,” said Detective Glenn Lyle of the Carrollton Police Department. “They gain your confidence by slick talking and having the answers to all your objections to it.”
When a scam call is found within the city limits, the Carrollton Police Department’s Cyber Unit takes over. This unit’s responsibility is to aid other departments with any investigation that could possess digital evidence. Scam calls are among some of the trickier cases as they can get around fast, and information can take months to gather.
“If people are victims and here in the city, we do act upon those as far as we can,” said Detective Lyle. “Our problem is a lot of times we chase that scam…by serving subpoenas or search warrants, and we backtrack it, and then it goes out of the country or goes to another state, then we have to hand that investigation off to somebody else.”
Although tracking down scams can be a hassle, learning how to avoid them can be beneficial. Many have fallen victim to scams, but there are tell-tale ways to protect themselves from one and avoid becoming a victim.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Detective Lyle. “The other thing is if the person is hounding them to make a decision right now. In law enforcement, we’re never going to pressure you over the phone.”
Ranging from older people to college students, anyone can get scammed. One must be on their guard regarding this type of con. If you believe you are being scammed, the CPD encourages you to contact them immediately or call 911 to report it.
“The faster we can get on the scam, the better,” said Detective Lyle. “We’ll do anything we can to put you at ease that you are not being scammed.”