The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) urges residents to be alert for an ongoing phone scam in which the perpetrators are posing as staff members of the MSO, according to a statement from officials.
Over the course of the last week, multiple local residents have reported receiving messages from individuals claiming to work for the MSO, authorities said.
In some cases, the callers are using the names of real MSO personnel and even telling residents to report to a legitimate MSO address, according to the statement. In one instance, an individual received a follow-up call from a scammer while in the lobby of the MSO’s administrative office in Woburn, authorities said.
In each case, scammers told residents there were warrants or fines in their name for failing to pay citations or appear for federal jury duty, according to the statement.
The scammers sought anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars to clear up the matters, and some wanted the fines to be paid using pre-paid cards, authorities said.
Fortunately, none of those who reported calls this week lost money, according to the statement.
“By using the names of actual Middlesex Sheriff’s Office staff and giving residents real office addresses, these scammers are attempting to lend an additional appearance of credibility to their fraudulent schemes,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “We want residents to be vigilant, and know that our staff will never threaten arrest or demand payment for fines over the phone. No legitimate law enforcement agency will ever ask that anyone pay a fine using a pre-paid card, Venmo or Bitcoin — that is a tell-tale sign of a scam.”
Residents who receive scam calls in which individuals identify themselves as MSO deputies may contact the MSO at 978-667-1711 and ask to speak with the Inner Perimeter Security (IPS) Unit. Individuals are also encouraged to notify their local police department.
To learn more about law enforcement arrest scams and how to protect yourself, please visit middlesexsheriff.org/arrestscams.
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