In full transparency, the following is a press release from the sheriff’s office submitted to SOURCE media.
FRAMINGHAM – The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office is once again urging residents to be alert for ongoing imposter scams.
“Across the nation, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Better Business Bureau (BBB) – among others – are warning of scams tied to tax filing season, economic impact payments (EIP) and even COVID vaccinations,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “At the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office we want community members to be on guard and be able to immediately recognize these scams.”
When it comes to COVID vaccinations, for instance, the BBB warns that some immediate tell-tale signs a communication is a scam are if the person contacting you wants you to pay to put your name on a waiting list or pay for the vaccination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC), the vaccine is being provided “free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.”
The MSO is also warning of continuing scams involving the alleged suspension or deactivation of Social Security numbers (listen to audio). According to the FTC, Social Security numbers do not get suspended.
In all of the scams mentioned above – and their variations (arrest, jury duty, etc.) – the perpetrators are trying to either obtain money in the form of direct payment through things like prepaid debit or gift cards, or to access critical personal information like Social Security numbers, bank or credit card accounts, and passcodes.
Residents who receive communications similar to these, are urged to:
- Immediately hang up
- Never provide any personal information (Social Security or bank account numbers, etc.)
- Contact government agencies directly to verify the veracity of calls, emails, texts or letters
If you or a loved one have lost money or had your personal information comprised due to one of these schemes you are urged to immediately contact local authorities.
Individuals may also report cases of fraud to the FTC via reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/.