Middlesex Sheriff: Don’t get scammed

August 24, 2023

Did you get a call claiming there’s a warrant or fine in your name for not paying a citation or for failing to show up for federal jury duty? Did the caller ask for a few hundred dollars — or maybe a couple thousand — to clear things up? Perhaps the caller said you could even use a prepaid card to cover the fine.

Don’t fall for it.

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office is urging people to be on the alert for an ongoing phone scam in which the perpetrators pose as members of the sheriff’s staff.

In mid-August, multiple residents reported receiving messages supposedly from the sheriff’s office. In some cases, the callers are using the names of real personnel and even telling residents to report in person to a government address.

“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,” Sheriff Peter Koutoujian said in a statement. 

“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 prepaid card, Venmo or Bitcoin — that is a tell-tale sign of a scam.”

Residents who suspect they’re being targeted by the scam can contact the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office at 978-667-1711 and ask for the Inner Perimeter Security Unit. They’re also encouraged to notify local police.

To learn more about how to spot scammers, visit www.middlesexsheriff.org/arrestscams.