WOBURN – The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office is cautioning area residents to be aware of active telephone scams in which perpetrators pose as members of law enforcement.
Over the past several days, the office has received information from four residents alleging they have been contacted by individuals posing as members of the sheriff’s office.
In one call, the scammers used the name of a current office employee. In three other calls, the perpetrators provided the name of an employee of another area law enforcement agency.
“By utilizing the names of real correction officers, deputy sheriffs and police officers, these perpetrators are trying to lend an additional layer of credibility to their scams,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “Fortunately, in all four of the recently reported cases, most of those contacted quickly realized the calls were fraudulent and none lost any money.”
In each of the cases reported to the sheriff’s office, perpetrators said they were calling to discuss legal matters, including outstanding warrants. In one case, the scammer claimed the person had failed to appear in court as an expert witness and was subject to arrest; however the victim could avoid arrest if they used Venmo to pay a $4,000 fine.
“No legitimate member of law enforcement will ever ask a member of the public to pay a fine using Venmo, bitcoin or by wire transfer,” said Koutoujian. “This is a tell-tale sign that you are dealing with a scammer and should immediately hang up the phone.”
Residents who receive scam calls in which individuals identify themselves as sheriff deputies may contact the office at 978-667-1711 and ask to speak with the Inner Perimeter Security Unit. Individuals are also encouraged to notify their local police department.
To learn more about law enforcement arrest scams and how to protect yourself, visit www.middlesexsheriff.org/arrestscams.