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Be wary of 'Middlesex' subpoena scam, sheriff’s office says

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office warns residents of a new twist on a previously reported scam.

Peter J. Koutoujian, sheriffKoutoujian

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, the office received a call from a local resident reporting she had been contacted by an individual identifying himself as a member of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.

The man -- using the name of a retired Middlesex County, N.J., officer -– said he was seeking to collect bond money for her alleged failure to respond to a subpoena. Recognizing the call was a scam, the woman hung up.

The man then called a second time, with “Middlesex Sheriff’s Office” showing on the woman’s caller ID.  In previous scams, individuals have used spoofing technology to display telephone numbers associated with legitimate law enforcement agencies.

This scam is similar to previously reported ones in which callers pose as members of law enforcement, the IRS or the courts, claiming warrants have been issued for residents’ failure to pay taxes or perform jury duty.

The impostors will tell those they have called that they can avoid arrest if they pay an immediate fine.

“As these scams evolve and spread, it’s critical that residents be aware of the underlying similarities so that they can protect themselves and their hard-earned money,” said Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian in an Oct. 24 news release. “In this case, the intended victim immediately recognized this was a scam and notified us, allowing us to alert the public.”

This news announcement was published Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.

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