Between Thursday, April 16, and Friday, April 24, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Fountain Hills received an additional four reports of cyber extortion similar to those reported earlier in the month.
Residents have received unsolicited emails with the sender claiming to have embarrassing information about the recipient that they will release if the recipient does not provide the sender with a specified amount of Bitcoin currency.
In most cases, the sender includes a current or prior password the person has used for an account to further intimidate the recipient. In some cases, the recipient has identified the password provided as one they previously used for account(s) that have been hacked.
None of the recipients fell for the scam.
*On Thursday, April 16, a caller reported finding a bag that she believed contained illegal drugs in the parking lot of her rental property in the 16600 block of Palisades Blvd. Deputies took possession of the substance and entered it for destruction.
*On Thursday, April 16, a resident of the 15700 block of Yucca Drive reported a man was acting disorderly as he was yelling obscenities at people. The caller did not want to aid in the prosecution.
*On Friday, April 17, deputies received a report that a moving truck struck and knocked over a “No Parking” sign belonging to the town as the truck attempted to turn around in the 14000 block of Hampstead Drive. The caller reported the truck did not stop or try to report the accident.
*On Friday, April 17, a business in the 16700 block of Palisades Blvd. requested that a homeless person who has been sleeping on the property overnight be formally trespassed. Deputies contacted the individual and informed him he was trespassed and could not remain on the premises.
*On Saturday, April 18, a resident reported that she had filed a report last week about someone accessing her online accounts and changing several passwords. She noted that she recently received over 340 emails in a six-hour period, which she found odd due to the recent fraudulent activity. The caller also reported that she received an email from another account during that time, stating she had recently changed her login information, which she had not done.
*On Saturday, April 18, MCSO received three calls for subjects going door to door soliciting in the 15500 block of Cholla Drive. Deputies were able to locate one group of two women and advised them of the Stay at Home Executive Order in place, as well as the fact that they would be required to have a peddler’s license issued from the town. Additional calls for a male subject in the same vicinity were received however deputies were unable to locate the subject.
*On Saturday, April 18,
MCSO received a call that a restaurant in the 10440 block of Indian Wells was violating the Governor’s Executive Order by having a musician play for patrons as they picked up to-go orders. Deputies responded, however the restaurant was closed and no violations were observed.
*On Saturday, April 18, MCSO received calls about a party and loud music at a residence in the 17400 block of Santa Rosa Lane. Deputies responded and observed eight people inside a garage who believed the current Governor’s Executive Order permitted gatherings of less than 10 individuals. Deputies explained that the current Executive Order is a Stay at Home Order and educated them on the Order.
*On Sunday, April 19, a resident of the 9700 block of Monterey Drive reported that there were subjects knocking on doors and carrying a flashlight. Deputies responded to the area but were unable to locate the subjects. MCSO did not receive any additional calls about the subjects.
*On Monday, April 20, a resident of the 16300 block of Jacklin Drive reported someone knocked on her door and offered to trim her tree. The caller believed this to be odd due to the Governor’s Stay at Home Order. Deputies checked the area and did not locate the subject.
*On Monday, April 20, a caller reported that a business in the 16700 block of Parkview Ave. with approximately 20 employees was open during the Governor’s Executive Order when he did not believe the company met the essential business requirement. Deputies contacted the business and determined that they were an essential business, pursuant to the Order.
*On Monday, April 20, a subject flagged deputies down in the area of Saguaro and Shea boulevards stating he had been shot. The subject did not appear to be in distress and then showed deputies a rock that he claimed had struck him in the leg. The subject did not want medical treatment and no injury could be seen. The subject had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest out of Casa Grande. Due to the warrant being non-extraditable, the subject was released.
*On Monday, April 20, a caller reported a possible intoxicated driver in the area of Fountain Hills and El Lago boulevards. A deputy responded and located the car and stopped the vehicle after a traffic violation was observed. The driver was found to be impaired and a DUI investigation ensued which resulted in the driver being arrested for Extreme DUI.
*On Monday, April 20, a resident of the 16900 block of Laney Court reported two male subjects were attempting to sell magazines door-to-door earlier in the day. The description was consistent with several other calls over the past few days and weeks of a group of males and females going door to door.
*On Tuesday, April 21, a resident of the 1500 block of Sunburst Drive reported she was defrauded out of $1600 for the purchase of a dog. The purchase was arranged through a website and after she paid the amount requested for the dog, the seller then requested additional money for the shipment of the dog. After this was paid, the seller then requested additional money for shipping insurance, which the buyer refused to pay. When she attempted to contact the company, she found that much of the information she had been provided may have been fraudulent.
*On Tuesday, April 21, a caller reported she did not believe that a local restaurant in the 13600 block of Fountain Hills Blvd. was an essential business, per the Governor’s Executive Order. The caller also wanted MCSO to check and see if the restaurant was in compliance with the Orders and felt that proper safety precautions were not being taken and people might be dining inside the restaurant. Deputies informed the caller that restaurants are essential businesses and PPE are CDC guidelines/recommendations, and no patrons were observed dining on-site.
*On Tuesday, April 21, a resident of the 16700 block of Last Trail Drive reported identity theft. He discovered an unknown person opened a Verizon account in his name and was only made aware of the account when a UPS Store employee called him, saying that someone was trying to pick up a package in his name. The victim did not have a Verizon Store account and called Verizon to find out someone had opened the account in his name.
*On Tuesday, April 21, deputies received reports that two individuals were soliciting door to door in the area of Prospect Trail and Eagle Ridge Drive. Callers mentioned that this had been going on for two hours and other neighbors had posted information about it on a neighborhood app. Deputies checked the area and contacted two female subjects who were walking door-to-door. The subjects were advised that there is an Executive Stay at Home Order in place, as well as a requirement in Fountain Hills to have a peddler’s license from the town in order to go door-to-door. The subjects were provided a warning and told they had to leave.
*On Wednesday, April 22, a caller reported that someone was getting their hair cut inside a shop in the 16600 block of Palisades Blvd. A deputy checked the business and found the business was closed. The store owner and a store manager were inside having a meeting.
*On Wednesday, April 22, a motorist was stopped for speeding at Rand Drive and Saguaro Blvd. and it was discovered his driver’s license had been cancelled. The motorist was issued a citation for speeding and a criminal citation for driving on a cancelled driver’s license.
*On Wednesday, April 22, a caller reported that a local business in the 11800 block of Saguaro Blvd. has a sign indicating they are closed, however people could be seen going into the store and purchasing items. The business in question is considered an essential business and can remain open during the Governor’s Executive Order.
*On Wednesday, April 22, a resident of the 16800 block of Sourdough Place observed a vehicle parked in her driveway and did not recognize the vehicle. When she went outside, the driver attempted to back up, nearly striking a tree in her yard. The homeowner called MCSO and when deputies arrived the person had walked away, leaving the vehicle. Deputies located the subject approximately an hour later. She was found heavily intoxicated and she was transported to a local hospital. She was issued a criminal citation for being in possession of alcohol when deputies contacted her.