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Hamburg Township, MI USA Police Department
Wednesday June 7th, 2017 :: 10:27 a.m. EDT


Potentially Dangerous Scam

Please be aware of the following potentially dangerous scam which occurred in Hamburg Township:

On Monday, June 5th, a Hamburg Township resident (victim) began receiving phone calls from a person who identified himself as a deputy from a county in the State of Washington. This person (scammer) stated that the victim had an outstanding warrant in Washington and that he needed to pay $1500.00 to clear it up. The victim had previously resided in Washington and the scammer had a great deal of personal information about the victim. The deputy’s name given by the scammer, as well as other names of officials in Washington given by the scammer, were all real names when the victim checked through various official government websites. Based on all these factors, the victim believed that this was a legitimate phone call and he wired $400.00 (the maximum he could withdraw from his debit card) as instructed by the scammer.

On Tuesday, June 6th, the victim began receiving more phone calls from the same scammer demanding the remaining balance of $1100.00. The phone calls became more threatening to the point that the victim realized that this was a scam. The victim confronted the scammer and hung up on him several times.

At approximately 1:00pm on Tuesday, Hamburg Township police officers were dispatched to a domestic violence call. The address given was in fact the residence of the victim. As officers were responding they were advised that a female caller (who it was later determined to be part of the scam) was stating that her husband was threatening her with a gun and then they lost contact with the caller.

Livingston County Central Dispatch called back the residence but the victim hung up on them when they identified themselves as he thought it was still part of the original scam. Several officers set up a perimeter around the residence, under the impression that they were responding to a man holding his wife at gunpoint. After approximately 15 minutes, officers were able to get the victim and his wife to exit their home without further incident. Subsequent investigation determined that the false barricaded gunman call (which is also known as “Swatting”) was related to the scam.
Please note the following:

1. No police department will ever attempt to have you “clear up” a warrant, post a bond or pay a fine over the telephone.

2. If you receive a call from someone reporting to be a police officer and you are suspicious about their true identity, please ask them for their name and the name of the police department for whom they work. Then hang up and either call that police department (using a phone number from a reliable source) or call your local police department and ask that they help you verify the legitimacy of the officer.

3. Please call your local police department and report if you are the victim of a scam attempt.

Hamburg Township, MI USA Police Department
10409 Merrill Rd
Hamburg, MI 48189

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 810-231-9391

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