On November 17, 2023, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Deputies began an investigation into a fraud that had occurred in Finksburg, Maryland. The investigation revealed that approximately four weeks prior, the victim received an email, allegedly from PayPal, stating that an error occurred in the victim’s account and that money was owed back to PayPal. Over the next several weeks, the victim received, emails, texts, and phone calls from a suspect who instructed the victim to withdraw money from the bank to cover the alleged error. The suspect then coordinated couriers to go to the victim’s residence and collect the money.
During the interview with the victim, another series of calls and texts were received on the victim’s phone. The investigating Deputy consulted with Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Detectives, and it was decided to have the victim set up another transfer at the victim’s residence. Deputies from both Patrol Operations and Investigative Services responded to the area of the victim’s residence.
Later that evening, a suspect parked at the end of the victim’s driveway, and a second suspect walked up to the residence to collect the money. Deputies took both suspects into custody, and the vehicle was towed pending a search warrant. The suspects were identified as Hongdong Liu, a 28 year old male from Flushing, New York, and Xang Liu, a 31 year old male from Brooklyn, New York. Both suspects were charged with 2 counts of Theft Scheme (both are felony charges). Both suspects currently remain at the Carroll County Detention Center awaiting a bail review.
(All individuals are presumed innocent of the pending charges until proven guilty in a court of law)
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Herold at 410-396-2929 or email@example.com.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to be skeptical of any unexpected email, text, or phone call asking for money. Even if you believe it to be true, it is always a good idea to contact the company through other means to confirm the legitimacy of the request before even considering withdrawing money. Additional fraud prevention tips can be found at https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-avoid-scam.
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