September 17 2015

Middlesex Sheriff Warns of Phone Scam With People Impersonating Deputies

By: Rich Hosford

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a new round of scam calls in which perpetrators are identifying themselves as deputy sheriffs. 

According to the warning, the department has received three calls in recent days from residents reporting men posing as deputies phoned them threatening arrest for failure to pay outstanding debts. A similar scam was reported in May of this year


“At no time will a legitimate member of law enforcement ever threaten arrest or demand payment for debt over the phone,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian.


In each case reported to the office, the scammers managed to spoof the office’s main telephone number, making it appear as though the calls were legitimate. None of those who contacted the sheriff’s office in recent days reported losing any money. 


One resident told investigators she immediately recognized the call was a scam due to previous publicity about similar calls. 


Due to the nature of these scams, it is often impossible to trace phone calls or identify suspects, the release states. For that reason, the IRS, local police departments and sheriff’s office across the country have tried to educate the public about their prevalence and ways residents can protect themselves.


Earlier this year, the Better Business Bureau rated arrest scams as the number one scam of 2014. Individuals receiving similar calls, or who think they may have lost money, are encouraged to contact their local police department. Calls in which scammers identify themselves as members of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office can also be reported to the Sheriff’s Investigation Unit at 978-932-3106.

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