scam alert rhode island

RI State Police Warn of Phone Scam

Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, along with Chief Sheriff David M. DeCesare, warns citizens to beware of a telephone scam in which individuals posing as deputy sheriffs are calling people to make arrangements to pay fictitious fines.

Sheriff DeCesare said his office has received at least a dozen calls from people in several communities saying they were contacted by people claiming to be deputy sheriffs – sometimes using the names of employees of the Division of Sheriffs and other times using fictitious names. 

The callers ask to make arrangements to collect fines that are supposedly owed for a variety of reasons, including failure to pay a citation or failure to appear for jury duty. The callers in some cases ask that the person meet them in the parking lot outside the sheriff’s office, or at other locations.

Sheriff DeCesare stressed that the Division of Sheriffs does not collect fines, nor would it ask someone to meet them outside of the courthouse to pay a fine. In addition, the people who have been called as part of this scam do not appear to even owe fines, he said.

Sheriff DeCesare said deputy sheriffs make approximately a hundred calls each week to arrange for service of warrants and other paperwork. However, no payments are requested nor accepted by them.

Sheriff DeCesare said people should not respond to any call from individuals claiming to be deputy sheriffs seeking money. Anyone with questions about any call from his office can contact the Division of Sheriffs at 401-275-2900 to confirm whether it is legitimate.