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By Kim Ring, Telegram & Gazette, August 2, 2021

WEST BOYLSTON — A few people have fallen for a scam and showed up at the gate of the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction for DNA testing after paying a fee to the scammers.

The caller identifies themselves to the intended victim as a deputy sheriff or sergeant and tells them they must report to the Sheriff’s Department for a DNA or blood test and demands a fee be paid.

Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis said scam artists sometimes fraudulently use his name and a phony telephone number.

“Our department does not contact residents and demand payment or ask for credit card information for anything over the phone. Additionally, we … do not provide any sort of DNA/blood test for the general public,” Evangelidis said.

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office encourages people to be aware of calls like this and to never give personal or financial information over the phone to anyone you didn’t call yourself.

“Today’s scam artists are always trying to stay ahead of the curve, residents need to beware of any unsolicited calls that ask for cash, money card payments, their personal or credit card information,” Evangelidis said. “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.”