Nov 23

Updated Stage 2 Guidelines - County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks

Posted on November 23, 2020 at 5:55 AM by Harvey Baker


Community Members,

During my patrols of the Town I observe many of you wearing masks.  However, some are still not wearing masks when they are outside in public spaces.  I have attached an amended version of the latest press release from County Executive Angela Alsobrooks that outlines the updated guidelines for stage 2, which have been implemented  to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.  

Continue Reading...

Nov 23

Text Message Scams - "Smishing"

Posted on November 23, 2020 at 5:24 AM by Harvey Baker


Text Message Scams

 

Smartphones have given us new ways to communicate with each other and have made working far more efficient. It seems everyone is preoccupied with their phone these days. Our mobile phones are constantly beeping, buzzing, or poking us with the latest news and updates or with messages from family and friends. You have probably seen folks on their mobile phones while driving, crossing busy streets, or waiting in line at the grocery store. If people are not chatting on their mobile phones, they are checking text messages or email. In fact, most people over the age of 24 check their phones 47 times a day, while smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 24 check their phones 86 times a day. Most users reach for their mobile phone as soon as they wake up in the morning, during work breaks and before going to bed at night. They chat with family and friends while in rush hour traffic and surf the internet before dinner. The use of mobile phones keeps people preoccupied and distracted for hours. Unfortunately, thieves know this and play on our preoccupation with smartphones by sending suspicious and bogus text messages in the form of spam and/or SMS phishing, also known as “smishing”.

Scammers often use variations of these following tricks to obtain a smartphone user’s personal identification information:

  • Promise of free prizes, gift cards or coupons.
  • Offer of low or no interest credit card.
  • Promise to help you pay off or reduce your student loan.
  • Text messages saying they have noticed suspicious activity on your account.
  • Notifies you that there is an issue with your payment information.
  • Send a fake invoice and request that you contact them if you did not authorize the purchase.
  • Request the last four digits of your social security number to assist the Social Security Administration in resolving an issue with your account.

 The University Park Police encourages residents to follow these basic tips when replying to smartphone text messages:

  • Do not take the bait if you receive a text message that you do not recognize—delete it.
  • If you receive a text message requesting information from a creditor or company that you have previously done business with, don’t reply to the text message. Call the business and ask about the text message you received.
  • Do not click open links in unsolicited text messages. Clicking the link may infect your mobile device with a virus or malware designed to steal personal or financial information stored on the device.
  • Do not call a telephone number listed in an unsolicited text message. Scam artists often use email-to-text technology, short codes, or spoofed local numbers to hide their identity.
  • Never provide your personal or financial information in response to text messages from unknown senders.
  • Never purchase gift cards at the request of an unsolicited text message or for someone you do not know in a phone call.
  • Remember if you feel rushed or a sense of urgency to respond to an unsolicited text message, be careful—it is probably a scam. If you suspect an unsolicited text message is a scam, report it to the Federal Communications Commission at 888-225-5322 and/or the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357.

Thank you, 

Chief Harvey R. Baker


 


Nov 06

Suspicious Male Identified - Attempt Indecent Exposure

Posted on November 6, 2020 at 12:41 PM by Andrea Marcavitch


On November 3, 2020 at approximately 5:45 p.m., a University Park Police Officer was flagged down by a resident at Queens Chapel Rd. and Van Buren St. for a suspicious looking male (H/M, 20-25 years old, heavy set build, black hair with bun, unkept beard) engaged in inappropriate conversation with a female teenager. The teen was walking a friend’s dog when the suspicious male pulled up in a gray, 2015, Nissan Altima (MD Reg: 8ED1488) drove up to her and said, "I like your dog," and "your legs are sexy" and then drove off. A few seconds later he returned to apologize for the comment he made and indicated that he was not trying to scare her. The teen replied, "alright, that's ok." The suspicious male continued talking and asked if she had ever seen the male anatomy using a derogatory term to describe it. The suspicious male then reached down for something and the teen ran towards her home and called her mother. University Park Police searched the area and went to the last known address of record for the vehicle but could not locate the suspicious male.

The father of a child who experienced a similar incident on October 26, 2020 was in the area and able to take a picture of the vehicle registration plate as the suspicious male drove away. The vehicle is registered through Maryland to Dennis Norris Ortiz Elvir (H/M, 25 years old, 5’9“, 225 lbs.). The vehicle and Mr. Elvir (see photo below) match the description from both incidents. Residents are encouraged to call 911 if they see Mr. Elvir operating a gray, 2015, Nissan Altima, MD Reg: 8ED1488. Mr. Elvir is not wanted at this time. However, he is a person of interest and the University Park Police would like to speak with him. 

ELVIR Person of Interest
Thank you,

Chief Harvey R. Baker