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By: Mark Sullivan – 11/7/2017 – Worcester Telegram

WEST BOYLSTON – Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis is warning residents about a recent phone scam in Worcester County that threatens the receiver with prosecution for failing to perform jury duty.

He says Sturbridge police have reported fraudulent calls made to local residents in which the caller identifies himself as an officer from the county sheriff’s office.

The caller tries to persuade the person answering the phone to provide prepaid money cards or credit card information, threatening fines or jail time for failing to comply.

These calls are phony, Sheriff Evangelidis says.

“Our department does not contact residents and demand payment or ask for credit card information,” he said in a news release.

“Today’s scam artists are always trying to stay ahead of the curve. Residents need to beware of any unsolicited calls that ask for their personal or credit card information.

“These callers can sound convincing, will be aggressive and try to intimidate you, even threaten you with jail time.

“We encourage anyone who gets a suspicious call to just hang up or call authorities first before giving out any type of personal information or money,” the sheriff said.

He said federal and state courts do not require anyone to provide sensitive information in a telephone call or email.

Most contact between a prospective juror and a federal or state court will be through the mail, and any phone contact by court officials will not include requests for Social Security or credit card numbers.

Anyone receiving such a phone call should not provide the requested information, he said.