A recent license scam has expanded to the real estate industry.
The Dauphin County Sheriff’s Office has reported that the scam targets real estate licensees. The scammers claim to be calling from a specific judge or sheriff’s office and say that the person has failed to show up for jury duty and now they must pay a fine or risk the loss of their real estate license. Several agents in other Pennsylvania counties have reported similar incidents.
Dauphin County Sheriff Nicholas Chimienti Jr. said, “I’ve spoken with several real estate professionals over the past week who have reported being victims of this type of scam. Real estate professionals are being targeted and when they receive this type of call, they’re concerned that they might lose their license so they give them the money. Unfortunately, many people never report these types of cases.”
The sheriff’s office reminds all licensees that no one from the sheriff’s department or other law enforcement agencies would call to demand payments or fines over the phone.
“The last person I talked with had a family member who had just been at the courthouse for jury duty, so the person paid the money because they were worried they would lose their license,” he said. “And sometimes that leads to the scammer adding additional fees for other charges as well.”
Last year the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs received reports that people pretending to be from one the licensing boards were contacting medical professional licensees about the status of their license.
“Real estate professionals are extremely busy and scammers like to take advantage of that,” Chimienti added.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a law enforcement agency claiming you must pay a fine or fee, contact your local law enforcement agency directly.