San Mateo County Sheriff’s officials are warning the public about a scam involving SMC Alert. The Sheriff’s Office has received reports from residents who received an unsolicited text message (email and flyer) under the guise of SMC Alert from someone claiming to be a deputy from the “San Mateo County Security System.” Victims are told in the message that officers will be conducting an annual inspection of businesses and residential areas which may include needing inside access to some units so pets have to be secured, alarm systems deactivated, and denying inspectors access will result in a fine. Sheriff’s officials are urging the public not to fall for this scam. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office will never send out a SMC Alert demanding access to your home or business. Officers will only come into your home or business with a search warrant or probable cause. Police (law enforcement) impersonators are often looking for anyone who seems exposed and easily fooled. Call 911 if you have any doubts about who is at your door. Dispatchers will know whether an officer (deputy/San Mateo County Sheriff's Office personnel) has been sent to your home and if they are currently there. The dispatcher will send out a real officer (actual deputy or law enforcement officer) if there is any doubt as to what is unfolding. SMC Alert is an alert notification system used to immediately contact you during urgent or emergency situations which may include life safety, fire, weather, accidents involving utilities or roadways or disaster notifications about an earthquake. A few examples of the types of messages that can be sent through SMC Alert are: Emergency Situations • Notify citizens of the location of the nearest emergency shelter, available bed space, hours of operation during a crisis; • Notify citizens of available evacuation routes during an emergency; • Activate special teams within the community, such as CERT volunteers. Precautionary Warnings (optional subscriptions) • Crime alerts; • Major road closure such as a freeway; • Wildlife warnings such as mountain lion sightings. SMC Alert is managed by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services. The service is free to register and is available to all cities, towns and special districts within San Mateo County. Alerts may also be sent by local police, fire and emergency managers from other cities within San Mateo County. Register here: www.smcalert.info.