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     The Sheriff's Office is making the citizens of our community aware of a scam and fraudulent activity reported to be taking place in Baxter County.

     Two separate incidents have been reported within the past week stating that someone has been going door to door in the Mountain Home area pretending to be a representative from the government or a contractor for a government agency, such a state agency, and trying to obtain personal identifying information from residents.  One complaint involved someone pretending to be conducting a survey concerning alcohol and tobacco use and asking the homeowner for a social security number and other personal identifying information.  There is no legitimate reason why any information of that kind would be asked for or needed by legitimate survey takers.  

     As law enforcement has cautioned many times in the past, people are strongly encouraged to NOT provide and NOT to verify any personal identifying information to unknown and unconfirmed sources, either in person, by phone, by email, through social media, or by other means of communication.  This includes social security numbers, dates of birth, physical or mailing addresses, telephone numbers, license numbers, names of family members, or anything else that could be used to verify a person's identity.   Giving out this information can result in identify theft and fraudulent financial activities undertaken in someone's name without his or her knowledge, which can be very costly and difficult to try to reverse.

     If someone has any doubt at all about the authenticity of a person going door to door soliciting information, tell them nothing, get a careful look at the person's description, clothing, and vehicle involved if any, and report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency.  We will try to locate them, identify them, and find out exactly what they are doing.

    Remain vigilant, and protect your personal information!

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff