Police Investigate Scam Targeting Former Montgomery County Government Employee

The Montgomery County Police Department is investigating the report of a scam that targeted a former Montgomery County Government employee.

On Tuesday, December 20, 3rd District officers responded to a residence in Silver Spring for the report of a scam.  The investigation revealed that a former Montgomery County Government employee (who last worked for the county government approximately one year ago) received a letter in the mail with Montgomery County Government letterhead stating that the Montgomery County Government would cease mailing pay slips to its employees.  The letter instructed the employee to register for an online service called “Oracle ESS” by using her email account.  The letter further instructed the county employee to call 1-877-613-5121 if further assistance was required.

When the letter recipient called the telephone number that was provided in the email, a male answered the phone and informed the caller that she was the winner of an “energy credit” and all that was needed was for her to pay a shipping and handling cost.  The male then requested a credit card number.  The former employee refused to provide her credit card information and believing this was a scam, hung up the phone and contacted the police.  Investigating officers called the same telephone number and determined that the information and instructions provided in the letter was not part of a legitimate Montgomery County Government service.

MCP urges any individual who receives a scam letter in the mail that is similar to the scam letter reported in this incident to call the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.

Please read the following tips on what to do if you receive a letter, email, or a telephone call that you believe is a scam:

  • Do not provide information over the phone.  Scammers often ask leading questions to retrieve information from you.  Often, you do not realize that you are giving them valuable information.
  • Scammers create a sense of urgency.  Slow down and ask the caller for detailed information and a contact number.  Tell the caller you will call them back.  Then, attempt to verify the caller’s story by calling family and/or friends.
  • Remember that scammers often use a technique called “spoofing”.  Spoofing provides a fictitious number to a Caller ID display.
  • Do not send money.
  • Most importantly, contact police immediately if you believe you are the victim of a telephone scam.

RLG