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Thursday, January 26, 2023
Residents Receive Calls from a Man Pretending to be a
Village Police Officer
Caller attempts to scare residents into sending money
UPDATE: Scammer is now using the name of Village Lt. Dasilva; ignore this thief
So far this morning (January 26, 2023), the Village Communications Center has received calls from 7 residents reporting that a man called and identified himself as ‘Sgt. Ham’ from the Chevy Chase Village Police Department (we have no such person in the Department).
‘Sgt. Ham’ told the residents that an arrest warrant had been issued for them for failing to appear for court, and they must send money to avoid arrest. Each of the residents said that ‘Sgt. Ham’ called from 301-241-7018. When some of the residents challenged ‘Sgt. Ham’s’ claims, he told them that they would receive a call from his supervisor, a lieutenant. After a few minutes, the ‘lieutenant’ called those residents and their caller ID displayed the Village phone number (301-654-7300). Obviously, these thieves are able to use technology to make it appear as if they are calling from the Village Hall.
Below are some tips to keep you from falling victim to telephone scammers—including these police impersonators:
1. Paying money to avoid service of a true arrest warrant isn’t a thing. This is not how it works.
2. Ignore every incoming call that is unfamiliar to you. Simply do not answer the phone; let it go to voicemail.
3. Never send money to an unexpected/unknown caller. We call these people thieves. Don’t let them trick you.
4. Many such callers insert a sense of urgency into their scam (pay immediately or be arrested; grandson needs bail money right now; the offer will expire very soon; the IRS will put a lien on your assets by the end of the day; etc.). Resist the urge to send money. Call the Village Police before you do anything.
5. And never, never, ever (did I mention never?) purchase gift cards to send money to any caller for any reason.
6. If you made a mistake and answered the phone, just hang up. You owe no courtesy to a thief. Get out of there and if you know how to block the caller’s number, do that.