MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA — Interim Chief Todd Fitzgerald and the Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Department would like to alert residents to an ongoing telephone scam and remind them to never give out personal information or send money to someone they do not know.
Several residents have recently reported to the Manchester Police Department that they have received calls from someone claiming to be a police officer from another police department. The “officer” reports that a family member has been in a car crash and subsequently arrested for possession of narcotics.
Individuals behind these scams prey on seniors in an attempt to steal money from them under the guise that they are helping a relative. Impostors may also pose as relatives in trouble, creating stories about an individual’s family to make the scenario sound authentic and tricking them into sending money. The caller stresses the urgency of the situation and often claims to be embarrassed, asking the senior not to tell anyone else in the family about the call.
In order for the person to be released from jail, the caller requests money be sent to a “bail bonds” company through a wire transfer or by purchasing gift cards or Google Play cards.
In almost every case, once the money is transferred or the debit card number is given, the money is lost forever and cannot be recovered.
“We want to remind the community that police will never contact you demanding payment by wire transfer or prepaid cards,” Detective Chris Locke said. “Bail money must always be surrendered at the holding facility, court, or police department, along with appropriate paperwork. If you receive a call like this, the best thing you can do is immediately hang up and report the matter to police.”
The Manchester Police Department also urges the public to never give personal or confidential financial information to anyone over the phone, and to always confirm the legitimacy of these claims by contacting family members directly.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam, please contact the Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Department at 978-526-1212.