The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department is warning citizens of a telephone scam involving people falsely claiming to work for the Department’s Civil Process Division. As part of the scam, the caller allegedly claims to be a Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Deputy and informs victims of one of a number of false charges that include:
- The call recipient’s failure to report for either jury duty or a grand jury, and false claims that they are subject to arrest and possible imprisonment unless they pay a fine to settle the matter; and/or that…
- There is a complaint against them and the caller wants to come and meet them at their home or place of business.
Victims are reportedly then instructed by the alleged perpetrator to purchase a prepaid credit card (in one case, they were instructed to purchase multiple Green Dot Money PAK cards) from their local drugstore (in one case a Walgreens) and provide the card number or numbers to the scammer via telephone. In one case, the recipient was told by the caller to deliver the cards to the JFK Federal Building at One Courthouse Plaza, and in past scams over the years, victims have also been told to deliver the card or cards in person to what is the official address of the Civil Process Division at 132 Portland Street in an effort to convince the victim that the caller is an official representative of the Division or Department.
“We want to warn citizens that these are most definitely scams and urge them to take the proper precautions against this individual or individuals,” said Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins. “We do not make these types of calls nor do we ever demand money over the phone as a way to avoid arrest, and our office would have already had contact with the recipients by way of process service well before they would ever be subject to a civil arrest. Finally, any financial transactions that we do are performed inside the Civil Process Division at 132 Portland Street, not over the phone or on the street.”
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department advises that citizens who receive similar calls that they should not, under any circumstances, give out any personal information to the caller and should immediately report the call to their local law enforcement agency. The Department also asks that you call The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department’s Investigative Division at: (617) 704-6544.