Woman, 94, assaulted, robbed as unpaid taxes scam continues

Baltimore police continued to warn against a scam targeting the elderly for robberies, saying new incidents were reported Saturday.

In one incident, police said, a 94-year-old woman in Locust Point was assaulted and robbed of $1,000 after falling for the scam. In another, a 79-year-old man in Greektown was injured and also lost $1,000, police said.

The scam begins with a woman claiming to be a city tax official calling the victims and telling them they have outstanding Baltimore bills, authorities said. She adds that a police officer or sheriff will come to the person's home to collect the overdue payments.

A white male, shown in a police composite sketch, then shows up and robs the victims, police said. Some of those targeted have been assaulted. The robbery of the 94-year-old woman occurred Aug. 9 in the 1400 block of Decatur St., with the female caller telling the victim she owed $1,900 for unpaid taxes.

Police publicized the scam this week, including discussing it at a news conference Friday, but said that there had been five new reports describing a similar scheme between Friday and Saturday and that at least one resulted in a robbery.

"The most important thing to know is that the Baltimore Police Department will never come to your house and ask for money, ever," said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. "If someone says Baltimore Police are coming to collect money, that's just not true, and the city would always send a letter. Always ask for a reference number or some type of identifiable information."

Anyone with information should contact the Special Investigation Section Check and Fraud Unit at 410-396-2400, police said.

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