FREDERICK COUNTY, M.d. (FOX 5 DC) - Fake musicians using technology to scam unsuspecting admirers out of money are setting up shop across the area soliciting donations.
Montgomery County police first put out the alert and now the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office is also warning residents about the scam with a focus on the high-tech ways the suspects want you to donate.
FCSO says scammers are hoping to skim your credit card number and use your personal information to get money.
These scammers are typically fronting as street performers, pretending to play music or use other forms of entertainment for a monetary donation. Fake violinists are known to be scamming people in the area.
Pretending you’re performing and receiving donations for the fake performance is not illegal, but police say if a business calls them and requests the performers leave the premises, then it becomes illegal as the fake performer could be charged with trespassing.
Whatever you do, the sheriff’s office says don’t use your credit card or any money-sending apps. And if you’re donating cash, you’re likely being duped.
Investigators say this is a nationwide issue that is now showing up in the DMV and they want to put out warnings to be proactive.