Sheriff’s office warning of new phone scam

BOURNE –Barnstable County Sheriff Jim Cummings is warning Cape Cod residents about a sophisticated new phone scam that is making the rounds.

A person claiming to be “Captain Brian Roland from the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office” called a local business owner and said the man had missed a court appearance and was now being sought on an arrest warrant.

When asked what the warrant was for, “Captain Roland” told him he had missed jury duty. The man was told he needed to show up at the Sheriff’s civil process office with two forms of ID and $1,996.05 as a surety bond.

The caller said the best way to make payment, was for the man to go to a Rite-Aid pharmacy and purchase a Green Dot card – essentially a pre-paid credit card.

At this point, the man became suspicious, so instead of purchasing the card he withdrew $2,000 in cash and drove to the Sheriff’s civil process office in Barnstable Village – whereupon he discovered there was no “Captain Roland.”

The man who was targeted told the Sheriff’s Office that “Roland” was a smooth talker, used accurate terminology like “surety bond,” and spoke with the confident ease of someone familiar with law enforcement and court proceedings.

“There is a simple rule here,” said Sheriff Jim Cummings.

“People who work in law enforcement don’t solicit money for situations arising from court matters – civil or criminal.”