Phone scammers posing as Middlesex deputy sheriffs


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

“We have received three calls in recent days from residents reporting men posing as deputies phoned them threatening arrest for failure to pay outstanding debts,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “At no time will a legitimate member of law enforcement ever threaten arrest or demand payment for debt over the phone.”

In each case reported to the Middlesex Sheriff’s 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 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. For that reason, the IRS, local police departments and sheriff’s offices 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 report them to the Sheriff’s Investigation Unit at 978-932-3106.

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