Macomb County sheriff warns against 'Spoofing'

Sheriff: Scammers identifying themselves as deputies


EASTPOINTE, Mich. – The Macomb County Sheriff's Office is warning against a "spoofing" scam that has already claimed one victim in Eastpointe.

Eastpointe police said a woman on Monday reported having fallen victim to the scam after getting a phone call from someone who had identified himself as a police officer.

The caller knew that the woman had obtained a loan previously and he told her that she had become the subject of a fraud investigation. 

Approximately a week later, the woman received another phone call -- this time from a person who identified himself as "Sheriff Anthony Wickersham." 

The woman's caller I.D. indicated that the call was being placed from the Macomb County Sheriff's Office. The person on the phone gave the woman instructions on how to make a $1,200 payment through the use of a pre-paid money card in order to avoid a criminal charge.   

Once the woman carried out this activity, she determined that she had been scammed. 

It is believed that the scammers used a computer program which changes the caller identification information to reflect the fact that the call is being placed from another number.

This process is known as "spoofing." 

Wickersham wants to inform citizens that sheriff deputies do not conduct financial transactions over the phone, and that any residents should be suspicious of callers requesting money over the telephone, regardless of their caller identification. 

Anyone who receives phone calls from persons identifying themselves as police officers and asking for money should politely ask for a return phone number, end the phone call and report the matter to the local police jurisdiction.