KEYSER – Area law enforcement have issued several warnings recently about certain scams currently circulating the area.
The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls regarding letters being received by residents regarding buying their homes, and the Maryland State Police have received calls about Maryland Unemployment .
The letters offering to purchase a person’s home ask the recipient to sign and enclose the document and a person will arrive with a certified check for purchase of their property.
“I have contacted a company in Dallas, Texas, that seems to be sending out some of these letters. However, some residents have received letters from California,” sheriff Forrest Ellifritz said. “I strongly advise anyone being contacted by these letters to discard them and not to contact these persons.
“Any resident wishing to sell their property should use a local realtor. It is never a good idea to sign anything dealing with your property or banking information unless you are sure who you are dealing with,” he said.
As for the unemployment scam, the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Department of Labor Unemployment Division continue to track and combat the schemes wherein subjects are impersonating the division in emails, text messages and phone calls with the intent of stealing unemployment insurance benefits.
The latest scheme is to ask legitimate claimants to enter their user ID and password onto fake websites wherein the subject then capture the data and use it to steal unemployment benefits.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Maryland Department of Labor has flagged nearly 1.8 million claimants – and 2.3 million total claims – as potentially fraudulent.
Text messages are designed by fraud scammers to grab a user’s attention and lure them into clicking on a link to provide personal information. One common scheme is to ask claimants to enter their User ID and password, which the fraudsters then capture and use to divert benefit payments to their own bank accounts.
If you receive an email or text message that appears to be from the Maryland Department of Labor DO NOT click on any links in the correspondence.
To help you distinguish between legitimate assistance from Division staff and fraudulent assistance from a potential scammer, please remember the following:
The division does not provide assistance through text message and will not send any links asking a claimant to verify their account through text.
The division will never request or require payment for assistance with unemployment insurance.
The division staff will not provide assistance to claimants through direct message on social media.
Do not provide any sensitive information related to your Maryland unemployment insurance claim by e-mail unless it is to a @maryland.gov e-mail address.
Report Fraud Scams
If you believe that your information has been used to fraudulently file an unemployment insurance claim, please contact the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance by visiting MDunemployment.com or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.