The Middlesex Sheriff's Office is warning local residents that someone has been fraudulently claiming to represent the sheriff while claiming they're collecting money owed to the Internal Revenue Service.
"We want citizens to be aware of this scam so they can properly protect themselves," said Sheriff Peter Koutoujian. "The public should be assured these calls are not legitimate."
Koutoujian said in a prepared statement that his office is aware of at least three instances in the past week in which someone claiming to be a deputy with the sheriff's office called local residents to demand payment of IRS debts.
The caller claims individuals face arrest if they do not pay up immediately using a credit card over the telephone.
So far no one local has fallen for the scam, which is a variation of a common scam perpetrated across the country.
Koutoujian said the callers try to appear more credible by giving their targets "call back numbers" that are legitimate numbers for the sheriff's office and the IRS telephone assistance line.
"Middlesex sheriff's deputies will never demand money over the phone and will never threaten arrest in such a manner," Koutoujian said.
Anyone who receives such a call is asked to notify their local police department immediately, and to also contact the Middlesex Sheriff's Office Investigation Unit at 978-932-3220.