Security Alerts

Please read the latest warnings on fraudulent and suspicious activities below. For immediate alerts and text messages, follow us on Twitter at

Stay alert for Counterfeit Cashier's Checks

Have you recently participated in the following events?

  • Been a mystery shopper, purchasing gift cards
  • Wrapped your vehicle in advertising
  • Purchased a big-ticket item online (motorcycle, 4-wheeler, etc.)

If so, you may be the target of a counterfeit cashier's check! Please stay alert to these threats. Contact your local police agency as soon as possible for further investigation and assistance.

Self-defense against scams

To everyone who hangs up on unwanted calls, learns about the latest scams, and checks with friends about suspicious offers: good news! People who did all those things were less likely to lose money to a scam than people who didn't...

Learn more from the FTC

Safe Online Surfing Challenge Opens

The FBI's Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge, which had record participation in 2018-2019, is reopening for the start of the new school year to help students navigate the web securely.

Learn more at the FBI

Worshipers targeted by gift card scam

We're seeing a new spin on gift card scams. This time, scammers are pretending to be a pastor, rabbi, priest, imam, or bishop. They're asking worshipers for gift card contributions for a worthy cause. Appeals are often made by email, but we've heard people are also getting texts and phone calls, too.

Learn more at the FTC

Update your software now

We secure our valuables - our wallets, keys, and homes. We know that, if left unsecured, they can easily be a target for criminals. So it makes sense to think the same way about the information stored on all our devices.

Learn more at the FTC

Keys to avoiding home rental scams

Need more space than an apartment, condo or townhouse can offer, but not ready to buy? A single-family home rental may fit the bill. But not all home rental listings are legit, so here are some tip-offs and tools to help you avoid a rental scam.

Learn more at the FTC

Make it a scam-free vacation

It's almost summer! Right now, you probably have beaches on the brain or you're thinking about that long-planned trip abroad. Before you head out, take steps to help keep your dream vacation from becoming a nightmare.

Learn more from the FTC

FCC Alerts Consumers to 'One Ring' Call Back Scam

Scammers Looking To Defraud Consumers By Prompting Expensive Call Back

Consumers Should Not Call Back Unknown Late-Night Callers Using the '222' West African Country Code.

Learn more from the FCC (PDF)

COPPA: A few tips to keep your child safe online

Online games and websites for kids are everywhere these days - to the point where it's commonplace to see toddlers playing with them, too. And while the internet often offers a positive way for children to explore and learn, privacy concerns are lurking. To help protect children's privacy, the FTC enforces the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires websites and online services to obtain consent from parents before collecting personal information from kids younger than 13.

Learn more at the FTC

Keep tech support strangers out of your computer

If you need tech help with your computer, where do you go? Most of us probably search online. But your online search can lead you straight to scammers who scare you into thinking your computer is in dire need of repair...and then sell you costly security software that you don't need.

Learn more at the FTC

Be prepared for IRS Scams

Sheriff Clayton and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office would like to remind you to be aware of potential IRS Phone Scams and to be prepared.

Now that taxes have been filed and many are awaiting a refund or paying off a tax bill, IRS imposters may attempt to take advantage. Criminals are looking for ways to steal your money or your identity. Don't fall victim to an IRS scam. Your first contact with the IRS will not be an unexpected call from an IRS agent but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A red flag for IRS scams are threatening, angry calls from people who say they are from the IRS or your local police agency and they demand immediate payment. Please know that the Sheriff's Office does not make calls on behalf of the IRS and that these calls are scams. Even if the caller ID shows as the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, remember we do not call on behalf of the IRS.


  • Call you to demand immediate payment
  • Call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying

Also beware of scammers calling under the guise of verifying your tax return information over the phone. Scam artists call saying they have your tax return, and they just need to verify a few details to process your return. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information. There are numerous variations of scams out there so remember, if someone calls asking for or demanding personal financial information or payment over the phone beware.

If you receive a phone call or voicemail from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here's what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you've never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484 or online at

"An educated and engaged community is our best partner" - Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton