New phone scam pretends to be Columbia County Sheriff's Office


Greenport, NY- Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett is warning County residents of a new telephone scam. So far, four citizens have reported to have received phone calls from an individual stating that he works for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and is requesting money to pay a fine. The citizens have reported that the main number of the Sheriff’s Office, 518-828-3344, does appear on their caller ID and in one of the calls the person identified himself as Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Wayne Lopez.

In one of the calls a citizen was told that they missed jury duty and a $2,000 fine has been set. The caller went on to state that a “Failure to appear” judgment was brought against them and then proceeded to give several convincing confirmation numbers to make the scam seem very realistic. The victim was instructed to purchase Visa gift cards at a local retail store and send the cards to them at an address they provided. The address given is in Washington, D.C..

Sheriff Bartlett states that the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office will never call and ask for payments over the phone and if the Sheriff’s Civil Office is enforcing a judgment, that individual would be first notified by mail. The Sheriff continues on to say that at no time would gift cards ever be an acceptable form of payment.

These types of scams have become very popular and with current technology the identification of the criminal is nearly impossible to ascertain.

Sheriff Bartlett requests that you contact the Sheriff’s Office at 518-828-3344 if you have been a victim of this scam.


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