Baltimore County Police are seeking a Dundalk man who they say is selling fraudulent newspaper subscriptions, particularly targeting the elderly.
Officials said Matthew Aldao, 33, of Dundalk, goes door-to-door posing as an an employee of The Baltimore Sun, the Dundalk Eagle or the Washington Post, carrying fake subscription paperwork that he has victims fill out before taking between $20 and $60 in cash as a “down payment” or initial subscription fee.
The Baltimore Sun does not solicit door to door subscriptions or collections, said Renee Mutchnick, a spokesperson for Baltimore Sun Media.
“We are aware of the situation and have been cooperating with the authorities," she said.
Aldao is already facing at least three separate charges of theft in Baltimore County, according to online court records. He was arrested in July 2019 when police in Dundalk saw him attempting to sell fraudulent newspapers. According to online court records, Aldao was arrested and charged with theft and resisting arrest.
He failed to appear in court in November and a bench warrant was issued for him, court records show.
Aldao researches his targets ahead of time and knows their names and other information about them, police said. In some cases, Aldao has targeted people who already subscribe to the newspapers by taking their newspapers for several days and then asking if they are having delivery issues.
Police spokeswoman Natalie Litofsky said most victims that police have spoken to have been over 60 years old, and many are in their 80s or 90s. She said police believe there are victims around Baltimore County, neighboring counties and as far away as Virginia.
Litofsky said police have “a lot of reports” but that what they have is likely “only a fraction” of the number of victims Aldao has targeted.
Anyone who believes they have spoken with Aldao, even if they did not purchase a fraudulent subscription, is asked to contact police at 410-704-2020 or the Dundalk Precinct and ask for Ofcr. Iacovo at 410-887-7320.