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Sheriff warns of phone scam

  • Franklin County Sheriff Chris Donelan in his office at the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction. Recorder/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Phone calls appearing to come from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office or Franklin County District Court — with someone saying they are serving a warrant — are a scam, Sheriff Christopher Donelan warns.

“We don’t do business like that, and neither does the district court,” Donelan said.

According to Donelan, the Sheriff’s Department has received complaints of such calls from as far as Kentucky, and on Wednesday from Orange.

The number the call is coming from may appear on caller ID to be the Sheriff’s Office’s number — 413-774-4014 — or the District Court number — 413-774-5533. This is fraudulent and the real number is being masked, Donelan said.

The caller may claim to be attempting to serve a warrant, but Donelan said people receiving such calls should hang up. Voicemail messages should not be returned.

Legitimate warrants will not be served in this manner, Donelan said, but if people are still concerned, they should call the Sheriff’s Office or District Court to verify if such a warrant exists.

Do not give any personal information over the phone “no matter what they ask for,” Donelan said, especially including credit card numbers, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers.

Donelan said the Sheriff’s Office began to receive complaints of the fraudulent calls from the Midwest last week. The callers have claimed to be from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Process Division.

“For me, I’ve never heard of something like this, using our number to call. That kind of freaks people out, because it adds legitimacy to it,” Donelan said. “Just hang up.”