San Mateo Co. warns of alert system scam


San Mateo County sheriff’s officials are warning residents of a scam involving text messages claiming to be associated with the county’s SMC Alert emergency notification system.

Residents have reported receiving an unsolicited text message from someone claiming to be a deputy with the “San Mateo County Security System” saying that authorities will be doing an annual inspection of businesses and residences that may include needing access to units.

Sheriff’s officials say they will never send out a message via SMC Alert demanding access to a home or business and that anyone claiming to do so is an impersonator.

People should call 911 if they have any doubts about who is at their door since dispatchers will know if sheriff’s deputies have been dispatched to the home, according to the sheriff’s office.

County Supervisor David Canepa issued a statement today about the scam attempts.

Canepa said:

“These fraud artists are despicable and are undermining law enforcement’s efforts to sign more people up for this potentially life-saving alert system … I urge the public not to fall for this scam and to call 911 if you have any concern as to who may be at your door.”

Along with communicating during a major emergency or disaster, the SMC Alert system notifies residents about situations such as crime alerts, major road closures, and wildlife warnings, according to the county.

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