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Police open investigation into scam involving impersonation of Howard County Sheriff Harris

CBS News Live
CBS News Baltimore Live

BALTIMORE -- The Howard County Police Department has opened an investigation into a phone scam that involves the false impersonation of Howard County Sheriff Marcus Harris, according to authorities.

The Howard County Sheriff's Office used its social media website to warn people of the scam on Thursday. The online warning notes that the scam artist has been reportedly using the name of a deputy to fish money out of unsuspecting Howard County residents.

But most recently, the scam artist has been pretending to be Harris in order "to make the call seem legitimate," according to authorities.

This particular scam artist appears to be targeting older residents, deputies said.

The person tells them that there is a warrant out for their arrest because they failed to attend grand jury duty, according to authorities.

Deputies have learned that the victims preyed upon by the scam artist were told that they must pay a fine related to the warrant over the phone.

The victims are told that their fine must be paid for with Green Dot or ReLoadIt prepaid cards, deputies said.

The Howard County Sheriff's Office will never demand payment over the phone, pressure a person to make a decision on the spot, and never give out personal or financial information over the phone, according to authorities.

Anyone who has fallen victim to the telephone scam and lost money as to the scam artist should contact the Howard County Police Department at 410-313-2200, which is the department's non-emergency number, deputies said.

Victims can also file an online police report, according to authorities.

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