Maryland Police Issue Warning About Statewide Text Message Scam

The scam involves death threats via text messages that could leave a device susceptible to a data hack.

by David Anderson, The Aegis, MD / December 28, 2016
Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

(TNS) — The Harford County Sheriff's Office issued a warning Tuesday about a statewide scam involving death threats via text messages that could affect personal phone data.

"We have received numerous complaints, just this morning, from individuals receiving threatening text messages," according to a post on the Sheriff's Office Facebook page late Tuesday morning.

The sender states in the text messages: "I've been paid to kill you but wish to spare you, inform the police or anyone else you will die, to be spared contact immediately via email."

The messages have been coming from an email address,, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"This is a scam that has been reported statewide," according to the HCSO Facebook page. "If you receive this text message, do not respond or attempt to email either account."

Other area police agencies and the Maryland State Police have been issuing similar advisories through social media, also saying the scam could erase data from your phone.

While agencies in counties surrounding Baltimore reported that residents were receiving messages, Baltimore Police spokesman Det. Jeremy Silbert said “several people in Baltimore” received the text Tuesday.

State police at the Berlin barrack on the Eastern Shore posted on Facebook that “surrounding local agencies are receiving numerous calls in reference to threatening text messages.”

State Police urged anyone receiving the text to not respond to the text, but to simply delete it. Replying to the message leaves a device susceptible to a data hack, police said.

The Baltimore Sun contributed to this report.

©2016 The Aegis (Bel Air, Md.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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