Worcester Telegram - 2/3/2018 BY: Steven H. Foskett, Jr.
WEST BOYLSTON – The office of Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis believes scammers posing as employees of the sheriff are trying to pressure people to give up sensitive personal and financial information.
The sheriff’s office said in a news release that it received reports recently that callers identifying themselves as an officer from the sheriff’s department are pressuring people into providing prepaid money cards, and credit card and confidential data that could lead to identity theft and fraud. The callers threaten people with fines and jail time if they do not comply. The callers base their scam around threats of prosecution for failing to comply with jury service, and mention arrest warrants.
The calls are not connected with the sheriff’s office or any state or federal courts. The sheriff’s office said it does not contact residents demanding payments or asking for credit card information on behalf of the courts regarding jury duty. Furthermore, federal and state courts do not require anyone to provide sensitive information in a telephone call or email. Most contact between a federal or state court would be through the U.S. mail, and any phone contact by actual court officials would not include requests for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information, the sheriff’s office said.
Anyone who receives such a telephone call or email should not provide any information, and should notify the clerk of court’s office at their local U.S. District Court. Go to http://www.mass.gov/courts/jury-info/ for more on the Massachusetts Court System Jury Information.