Koutoujian Warns Of New Scam Featuring Phony Sheriff's Deputies
Aug 14, 2016 07:47PM
By Bill Gilman
(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by the office of the Middlesex County Sheriff.)
The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) is warning residents of ongoing telephone scams in which perpetrators are posing as deputy sheriffs.
“In recent days, we have received multiple reports of individuals threatening arrest for failure to pay outstanding bills or fines,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “These are scams. No member of this office, or any legitimate law enforcement agency, will ever threaten arrest in such a manner.”
In each case, the caller claimed to be a deputy sheriff, providing the recipient of the call with a name and badge number, and indicating either a warrant or a complaint had been issued for the individual’s arrest. Fortunately, in each of the recent cases reported to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, the recipients of the calls recognized them as scams.
“For more than two years we have been warning residents of these growing arrest scams,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “It used to be that scammers preyed on people’s hopes, but today they are preying on their fears. By educating and alerting residents to these scams they can better protect themselves and their hard-earned money.”
With an increase of these arrest scams, the MSO is offering the following tips:
- Never give out your Social Security number or date of birth to anyone who contacts you
- Never provide any financial information (bank account, credit card numbers)
- Never purchase a product (MoneyPak cards, gift cards, etc.) to pay a debt
- If a caller phoning about financial issues identifies themselves as a member of law enforcement, get their name, hang up the phone and call Information or look up the agency’s main telephone line.Then call the main number, ask for that officer by name and remain on the line to speak with them, but always remember a legitimate member of law enforcement will never demand money.
Residents who receive similar calls in which individuals identify themselves as MSO deputies may contact the MSO’s Digital Forensics Unit at 978-495-7417 and are also encouraged to contact their local police department.