Sheriff Armando Fontoura today issued an alert to Essex County residents that a long running telephone scam seeking payment for false warrants and overdue payments to the IRS has taken a new twist. This new twist involves a threat of arrest for not appearing for Jury Duty as summonsed.
“The scam involves a caller stating he or she is with the Sheriff’s Office and utilizes technology that falsely impacts the potential victim’s caller ID to show that the call is legitimate,” Sheriff Fontoura noted. “The caller says that a warrant has been issued for the victim’s arrest but the warrant may be resolved either ‘criminally’ or ‘civillly’ by paying a fine which would negate an arrest. The scam artist then follows with instructions for the victim to use a pre-paid debit card from a major bank. The scammer then provides a call back phone number where payment can be paid.”
“Scam artists are extremely creative and inventive,” warned Sheriff Fontoura. “We can not stress enough that legitimate law enforcement agencies do not ask for money card information to avoid arrest,” Sheriff Fontorua cautioned. “People who receive these phone calls should never provide any personal identification, such as a date of birth, social security number or bank card information over the telephone to people you don’t know. If you do receive such a call gather as much information you can about the name and phone number given to you by the scammer and report them to their local police department.”