NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The sheriff of Hampshire County is warning of a scam where a caller asks for money on behalf of his department.
"This is deputy sheriff with the Hamp-shire County Sheriff's Department. We were calling in regards to an urgent matter. We would expect you to contact us back at your earliest convenience. The number to the department, 413-300-2745," the message said.
First of all, it's Hampshire, and second, that's not the county sheriff's number, which is what's so concerning to Patrick Cahillane, the real sheriff in town.
"The caller ID on the receiver's end will show up as the Hampshire County Sheriff's Office. [Are you serious?] Yeah, so in many cases, you have a belief it's the Hampshire County Sheriff's Office calling you," Cahillane explained.
Cahillane told Western Mass News these scammers are using a similar method others have, masking themselves as law enforcement officials.
If you don't answer, you get that voicemail urging a call back and if you do, you're asked for bail money.
However, Cahillane noted, "we are not calling people asking for money and we do not collect bails that way in Massachusetts. In Mass., bail is collected by a bail commissioner. [So that's another giveaway?] It is."
There are a few things to keep in mind, so that your money stays yours.
- Hang up. You can't give money if you're not on the phone.
- Don't call back a number you don't know or trust your caller ID.
- Remember, unless you initiated the call, never give out your financial info to strangers.
- Report the scam.
"They are aware that the situation is happening locally, but on top of that, it's important to notify the Federal Tade Commission. The more information they have, the more scams they're tracking. Maybe someday. we will get Congress to act more effectively in this situations," Cahillane noted.