CAPE ELIZABETH — Cape Elizabeth Police Department recently warned residents to be conscious of phone scams.  

On April 26, the Maine State Police sent out a message alerting the public about scam calls where the caller claims to be raising money for the Maine State Trooper’s Association. A scammer recently called the Cape Elizabeth Police Department dispatch center requesting money for the association. Scammers have also been contacting retired troopers.  

The Maine State Troopers Association represents the trooper’s union and does not ask for money. The association does conduct fundraisers for charity by accepting donations for patches, plates, and ad space in Maine State Trooper Magazine.  

“The latest trends are current events. Back with COVID it was a lot of PPP (Payroll Protection Program) loans, CMP stuff, the Maine State Police thing from yesterday with the Troopers Association is the newest scam,” said Detective Ben Davis of the Cape Elizabeth Police Department.  

The Cape Elizabeth Police Department was contacted on April 26 by a Cape Elizabeth resident who received a call from a scammer. According to police, the resident recognized the call as a scam and hung up. The department has seen an increase in both victims and people calling them saying that they have received a call from a scammer, or they have received a suspicious email; this allows officers to educate residents and make them aware of the emails and calls going around.  

The police department sees a variety of people calling, but according to Davis, the older population is susceptible to scam calls. Some of the victims have even sent money out after receiving a call.  

Advertisement

“The one scam that comes to mind is the grandparent scam, in the past two months, we have had two older families fall victim to this,” Davis said. “It is where the scammer calls pretending to be a grandson or granddaughter in one case the scammer said they were in jail and in the other case they said was in an accident in California and that they needed money to be sent. So, these people spent tens of thousands of dollars to an address in California and of course it was cash and they, unfortunately, will never see that money again. The scammers had the name of the grandson they were very accurate and sounded like the grandson to one person.”

Davis stated that the public should be suspicious of phone calls and refrain from clicking on suspicious links from emails or texts.  

The Cape Elizabeth Police Department is asking residents to be careful of the scams if individuals feel like they have fallen victim to the scam, hang up and call the police department’s non-emergency number. Not only will this ensure people they are speaking with a law enforcement officer or dispatcher, but it will also alert local law enforcement to the scam.  

For more information, call local police or seek tips from organizations such as AARP.

Comments are not available on this story.