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HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) -- The Howard County Police Department is warning residents of telephone scammers who impersonate law enforcement officers and are targeting the citizens of Howard County, Md.

Police said they are warning residents to be careful and to avoid falling victim to these scams and others.

According to authorities, at least four cases involving Howard County residents have been reported in the last 24-hours.

The victims all got a phone call from a suspect claiming to be a Howard County Sheriff's Deputy. Police said victims are told they have missed jury duty and have been issued a warrant for their arrest. They are then told that they need to pay a fine over the phone with a debit card in order to not get arrested.

Police also said the victims are encouraged to use Green Dot Reloadable prepaid cards. Authorities remind residents that they will never demand payment over the phone.

The Howard County Office of Consumer Affairs recommends the following tips for avoiding scams and protecting your privacy:

- Anyone can claim to be with a government agency, business or charitable organization.

- Don't feel pressured to make a decision on the spot.

- Keep your personal information to yourself.

Howard County Police also remind residents to never give out personal or monetary information over the phone.

If you believe you may have been a victim of a telephone scam, call police at (410) 313-2200 or file an online police report at hcpd.org.

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