Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office warns residents about impersonation scams

Scammers claim to be law enforcement

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – Washtenaw County residents are being targeted by scammers pretending to be Sheriff’s Office staff.

On Friday, the law agency posted on social media that it has received numerous calls involving law enforcement impersonation scams.

“The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents that our office will never contact you demanding payment for an outstanding warrant. If you receive one of these calls it is a scam and you should hang up immediately,” the organization said.

The scammers are claiming to be from local law enforcement agencies. Victims are told to wire money or purchase gift cards in order to pay for outstanding warrants or other police-related matters, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office said.

“These scams can feel real but they are not! Scammers are using real names of local police officers and may even “spoof” the phone number so that the Sheriff’s Office shows up on your caller I.D. They may even know personal information about you, but it is a SCAM!” the Sheriff’s Office wrote.

Spoofing is when information—in this case, caller ID information—is changed to impersonate an organization, agency, person or another number.

Residents should not send gift cards numbers or money to strangers, and should not meet with individuals calling about these claims.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is asking residents to share information about the scams and encourages community members to read the “Don’t Fall Victim to Gift Card Scams” consumer alert from the Michigan Attorney General.

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Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.