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Police Blotter: State Police Investigate Fraudulent Phone Calls

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office is warning residents of a new scam.

Warrant arrest

On Thursday, deputies assigned to countywide patrol stopped a vehicle on Dexter-Ann Arbor Road near Zeeb Road in Scio Township. The deputies contacted the driver and determined that he was wanted on an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation in Romulus, according to reports. The suspect was arrested and transported to the county jail.

Fraud alert

The is warning Dexter residents of a new identity theft scam hitting mid-Michigan. On Thursday, a Jackson County resident got a call on his cellphone informing him that his wife was in some legal trouble, Sgt. David Archer said.

Archer said the person on the phone call identified himself as Officer Michaels of the Michigan State Police.

" 'Officer Michaels' claimed the resident’s wife had warrants out for her arrest but that it could be taken care of over the phone," Archer said. "All the supposed-officer needed was a debit card number, a birth date and Social Security number," Archer said.

State police confirmed that none of their officers made the call.

"I called the number and asked for Officer Michaels, and I was immediately asked what number I was calling from, and they would not help me unless I provided the number I was calling from," state police Lt. James Shaw said. "That was a red flag."

On Tuesday, troopers also learned about a letter, printed on what appeared to be Michigan State Police letterhead, that was sent to a victim  in the Jackson area.

"It wasn't real, either," Archer said.

Troopers are especially concerned that scammers are now posing as local law enforcement officers.

"We hold a position of public trust," Shaw said. "And when people call and identify themselves as law enforcement officers, they're playing on that trust to obtain information."

Although the Jackson resident didn't believe the letter was legitimate, Shaw said he thinks some people will fall for the scam.

Shaw said anyone who receives a suspicious call from someone identifying himself or herself as a Michigan State Police officer should call the local law enforcement department.

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