Marshal warns about scammers posing as officers | #scams | #elderlyscams
Jun. 6—NEWBURYPORT — The city marshal is warning residents to be aware that a person claiming to be a Newburyport police officer called someone in town and demanded money in what was a scam.
Marshal Mark Murray said in a press release Saturday that his department received a report about an individual who had been contacted by phone by someone claiming to be a Newburyport police officer.
The resident told police the caller claimed he was a city police officer and demanded $10,000 or else the resident would be arrested. The scammer used the name of an active Newburyport police officer and spoofed a local phone number, Murray said.
Residents should note that this scammer in particular had a Middle Eastern accent and he was most likely not in the United States.
“Oftentimes, scammers will target vulnerable populations such as the elderly and ask them to withdraw large sums of cash or purchase large amounts of gift cards,” Murray said. “Residents should note that officers from the Newburyport Police Department will never call you regarding an arrest, nor demand money. Anyone who believes that they may have fallen victim to this scam is encouraged to contact us immediately.”
Newburyport police are also aware of a recent increase in scams that target residents by coaxing them into giving money by claiming a relative has been arrested and needs to be bailed out. These scammers have then instructed the victims to give cash to a person posing as a courier or bail bondsman who arrives at their home to collect the money.
Murray stressed that bail is never picked up at someone’s house through a delivery service, nor is it requested via a wire service or prepaid debit cards. There have been reports of similar incidents in other communities recently, he said. Arrests of relatives can be confirmed with the police department reportedly making the arrest or through the local district court clerk’s office.
The Massachusetts’s Attorney General’s Office provides these tips for people to protect against scams and frauds:
Do not give out your credit card information to someone calling over the phone.
Do not give in to the pressure to make a decision immediately.
If in doubt, do not give out your personal or financial information. Report anyone claiming to be a government worker to local police.
Monitor incoming calls. Do not pick up unknown numbers or random calls. If a call is important, the caller will leave a message.
If you do pick up and learn it is a scam call, hang up. Do not engage in conversation.
Anyone with questions can call the Newburyport Police Department at 978-462-4411.