Man Posing as Police Officer Targets Female Agents

February 24, 2020

A man claiming to work for the police department in Battle Creek, Mich., is contacting local female real estate agents, telling them that they are in legal trouble and requesting an in-person meeting to discuss the alleged issues. The man called at least seven agents in three hours on Feb. 20; all seven reported the calls to the Battle Creek Police Department.

The fake calls are meant to lure women into potentially dangerous situations, and police are concerned there could be more who have received the calls than is currently known. The Battle Creek Area Association of REALTORS® has issued a warning to its members.

The man who called the agents claimed to be a detective named Todd Elliott. All of the agents he contacted work for Jaqua, REALTORS®, with offices in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. There is a real Todd Elliott who works as a sergeant for the Battle Creek Police Department, but he says he never made the calls. “What it appears he’s doing is trying to meet up with these women, and whether that’s to rob them, assault them, whatever the case may be, or just harass them, that’s a concern of ours,” Elliott told WWMT.com. “Why is this guy calling, trying to impersonate a police officer, and meet unsuspecting women?”

Elliott warns that scammers usually try to make such fraudulent phone calls to access personal information and money from victims. The fact that the caller in this situation wanted to meet the women in person is particularly alarming since he used an official Battle Creek Police Department phone number and name to make the call, Elliott warns. “It looks like they spoofed our administrative line from our front desk,” Elliott told WWMT.com “We’re working on tracking down exactly where this number came from.”

The seven women who reported the suspicious phone calls to police say they felt something was off during the call. They contacted the Battle Creek Police Department directly to check on the status of the call. “We do not call people and try to solicit money over the phone. We do not call people and threaten arrest,” Elliott says. “We will call people for criminal investigations, but we don’t call people for the sole purpose of saying, ‘You have a warrant and you need to take care of it.’”