Latest phone scam, staying vigilant

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard is warning residents not to fall for the latest telephone scam which uses the Sheriff’s Office name and fictitious command staff to target registered sex offenders.
“This is just another variant of all of the scams that we are seeing,” Bouchard said. “The common thread is someone in a purported position of authority demands immediate monetary action on your behalf to avoid an arrest or some other feared action. This is a scam. You will never be asked to provide immediate money over the phone or via similar conveyances like bitcoin or green dot cards by real government employees.”
In this most recent example, a man whose name is on the Michigan Sex Offenders Registry received a call from someone who identified himself as “Sgt. Kennedy” at the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office does not employ a person named “Sgt. Kennedy.”
The phony sergeant told the man a warrant had been issued for his arrest because he had failed to respond to a certified letter requiring him to report for a “secondary DNA profile.” A $20,000 bond with a 10 percent provision had been set. To avoid arrest, the man could post $2,000 using virtual currency and a QR code “Sgt. Kennedy” provided for him.
The man withdrew $2,000 from his bank account and sent the funds from a bitcoin ATM as instructed. The man was contacted a second time and told he would need to provide another $800 to clear up a federal warrant. A relative of the man was on the way to the Oakland County Jail with the money and called the Sheriff’s Office. The relative was told the transaction was a scam and to stop further communication with the suspect.
The case is under investigation.


Bouchard issued the following statement Dec. 11 that applauded the charging of three suspects for the break-ins at high-end homes but urged residents to remain vigilant against further burglaries.
“We applaud the charging of three suspects accused in high-end break-ins at homes in our county, but we want to be clear that these suspects have been in custody for months,” Bouchard said. “These suspects – while connected to the same transnational network that has committed countless burglaries across the country – are not the criminals responsible for the rash of break-ins in Southeast Michigan that have risen dramatically since September.
“These are completely different teams who continue to traumatize residents in our area, and I urge residents to remain vigilant.”

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