Hampden County Sheriff warning of scam calls purporting to be from department
LUDLOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department is warning about phone calls from someone who is using a law enforcement title to get money.
“This is Sergeant David Jenkins with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office,” the call stated.
You would think that is the voice of a deputy from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office, but department spokesperson Rob Rizzuto told Western Mass News “not so fast.”
“We would never do business over the phone. There is no David Jenkins that works for the department,” Rizzuto said.
Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi said about a dozen phone calls have been reported during the past week with scammers claiming they belong to the department. Potential victims have received calls saying they have to settle a warrant for either missing jury duty, missing a court appearance, or that they can avoid arrest until their innocence in an unspecified court case is resolved. All of that as a way to steal money from those folks. Rizzuto, though, said that is not at all how the department operates.
“You will always receive a knock on the door if we need to reach you for something, so if anybody calls saying that they’re us, it’s not,” Rizzuto explained.
Rizzuto told us the voice message people have received also contains a phone number for them to call and calling that number leads to another voice memo from the scammer using the same name, telling you to leave a message.
“The problem is, with spoofing services on the internet, you can make a phone number look like it’s coming from anywhere,” Rizzuto added. “They’re probably going to try to get (the money) in a number of different ways. Either have you put something in the mail. They might even have somebody local that they’re working with that would meet you and potentially get these gift cards if you were to get them.”
Rizzuto said whoever is doing this could face numerous charges, including impersonating a police officer, plus possible jail time. The bottom line is that he said any message like that should be ignored.
“More often than not, it’s spam and sometimes it’s a scam. Either way, it’s a waste of your time and it could be worse,” Rizzuto said.
So far, no arrests have been made and the investigation is still ongoing. However, should you receive such a message, you are advised to either contact the sheriff’s office or your local police department.
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