Inside Stories

Sheriff’s Office Issues Alert for Arrest Scams

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) is urging residents to be aware of ongoing arrest scams in the area.

The new warning comes after multiple local residents – including four on January 29 alone – reported receiving calls from individuals falsely posing as Middlesex Sheriff’s Office deputies or staff members.

In two instances, the residents were told they had missed jury duty and owed $5,000 in fines.  One of the residents was told they needed to surrender themselves at the MSO office in Woburn, while the other was told they could pay the fine using PayPal or a virtual currency kiosk.  A third resident was told they needed to surrender in Lowell.

In a second variation of the scam, one resident was falsely told she had missed court where she had been expected to serve as an expert witness.

Fortunately, none of those who reported the calls to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office lost any money.

Members of law enforcement will never threaten arrest or demand fines be paid over the phone and no legit law enforcement professional will ever demand fines be paid using bitcoin, gift cards or other similar means.  These are clear signs of a scam.

The MSO urges any resident who receives a similar call to disconnect and report the call to authorities immediately.  Residents who receive scam calls in which individuals falsely identify themselves as MSO deputies or officers may contact the MSO at 978-667-1711 and ask to speak with the Inner Perimeter Security (IPS) Unit.  

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