Birmingham police warn residents about scams

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 23, 2024


BIRMINGHAM — The Birmingham Police Department has been increasing its efforts towards spreading awareness about the types of scams that have been increasingly affecting residents in Birmingham.

Birmingham Police Chief Scott Grewe said the biggest rise of any of their recent crime stats has been in the financial realm, whether it be identity theft or fraud.

While there are several different types of scams that are fairly common, Grewe said it is hard to say whether or not they are connected because many of the scam phone calls come from out of state or outside the U.S. using fake phone numbers that are hard to track.

“It’s hard to say whether or not they’re connected, but there is certainly a very similar type of scam that’s going on,” Grewe said.

Grewe shared tips on how to identify when a call is a scam and what to do when a call is identified as a scam.

“If anybody is asking you to go buy any of these prepaid debit cards, as a form to provide payment to them over the phone, it’s a scam,” Grewe said. “There’s no legitimate company, organization and handling business that way.”

When someone receives a suspicious scam call, they are encouraged to reach out to the Birmingham Police Department.

“Always report to the police so that we can look into and investigate and, hopefully, bring the responsible to justice that are the ones that are committing these frauds,” Grewe said.

While anyone can become a victim of these scam calls, Grewe said a high percentage of the victims are seniors.

Since the aging population has been affected by some of these scams, the Birmingham Police Department has passed out fliers at local senior living facilities and has been speaking in depth to residents about this topic.

Grewe said the goal of these efforts is to reduce the number of victims by getting the word out to as many people as they can about what these scams tend to look like and how they need to be handled.

Information on the Birmingham Police Department can be found at On that page, under the tab “Police Alerts, Maps, & Statistics,” a crime map can be found that is regularly updated with recent crimes, including cases of fraud.