Howard County police: con-man may be preying on elderly

Howard County police say Jamie Fisher (pictured) demanded money to "buy out" a phony contract with unsuspecting elderly woman. (Howard County Police)

WASHINGTON — A Virginia man has been arrested for scamming an elderly woman out of cash by bullying her and police say there could be more elderly victims of a scam based upon on intimidation. One man is in custody but another is still wanted by police.

Howard County police arrested Jamie Alexander Fisher of Winchester, who faces a list of charges including “acting as a contractor without a license.” Police are looking for Fisher’s suspected sidekick in a theft scam when an elderly Ellicott City woman was strong-armed into handing over $6,000.

Police say Fisher confronted the homeowner on May 21 while spraying the woman’s front lawn with a substance and she had asked him to stop. But he said that either she or her husband had signed a contract in 2010 for an ongoing lawn service and he demanded payment even though he could not produce the contract.

Police say Fisher offered the victim a chance to “buy out the contract,” if she gave him $6,000. She wrote a check for part of that amount and on June 18, Fisher was back demanding the rest of the cash which she paid. She then called police a few days later.

Police say that Fisher could be responsible for other similar cases across the area. They believed he was using a white 2003 GMC Yukon with Virginia tags. If you are a victim or know of someone who might be , call the Howard County police at (410) 313-STOP.

Police offer tips and remind residents to take precautions when approached by door-to-door contractors including:

  • Be wary of anyone who begins performing yard work or home improvement services without consent and then demand payment. Call police immediately in such circumstances.
  • Don’t feel pressured to make a decision on the spot.
  • Contractors must be licensed to perform the work.
  • Don’t share personal or financial information.

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