If someone calling himself Lieutenant Rich Johnson and claiming to be a representative of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department calls and tells you there is a warrant out for your arrest, don’t believe him.
That’s the message county officials put out on the County of Northampton Facebook page Monday.
According to a news release that was shared on the page, someone claiming to be the fictitious Lt. Johnson is calling county residents and telling them “there is a warrant out for the resident’s arrest and that they need to pay via a bank check or a money order otherwise they will be immediately arrested.”
What the payment is supposed to cover or whether the recipients of the calls are told anything else wasn’t detailed in the news release.
“This is a scam intended to defraud our residents,” it said. “The Sheriff’s Department does not call residents and solicit money in lieu of arrest.”
Officials asked anyone who has received suspicious solicitations over the phone to report them to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office by calling 800-441-2555 or emailing email@example.com.
A Lehigh Valley Live story published Monday cited a county spokeswoman who said the sheriff’s department had received eight to 10 calls about the scam on Monday, but that no one had fallen for it so far.
According to the county’s website, the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department is a professional law enforcement agency charged with providing building and courtroom security at the County Courthouse and in other County buildings; transporting prisoners; locating and apprehending fugitives; serving warrants, legal papers and notices; administering the foreclosure, repossession and sale of real and personal property; and issuing a variety of permits, among other duties. The Sheriff’s Department, which is accredited by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, is located on the basement level of the courthouse building at 669 Washington Street in Easton, Pa.
For more information about the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department, visit NorthamptonCounty.org.