If receive they unsolicited calls about a bill they owe from National Grid, Columbia Gas, Verizon etc. or anyone demanding money by Money PAK or pre-paid card. Get the phone number from an old bill, or go to companies website, do not call the phone number scammer gives. Call Lawrence Police at 978-794-5900 x 625 if they have any suspicions or questions of authenticity BEFORE they pay.
Lawrence Police wants to warn the public to be aware of a phone scam targeting unsuspecting individuals that their loved ones are kidnapped and being held for ransom. Such calls, known as virtual kidnapping scams, have been occurring across the Merrimack Valley area in recent days.
Scammers steal money by demanding a ransom, telling the victim that their family member will be injured or killed if the payment is not wired immediately. In some cases, the scammers will have someone screaming in the background to make the call sound more authentic. This scam has been around for a few years but it appears it is becoming popular again.
To avoid becoming a victim of this extortion scheme, look for the following possible indicators.
- Incoming calls that come from an outside area code, be particularly aware of area codes 787 and 939.
- Calls not coming from the “kidnap” victim’s phone.
- Callers who go to great lengths to keep you on the phone.
- Callers who prevent you from calling or locating the “kidnap” victim.
- Ransom money is only accepted via wire transfer service.
If you receive a phone call from someone who demands payment of a ransom for a kidnapped you should:
- Try to slow the situation down. Request to speak to the victim directly. Ask, “How do I know my loved one is OK?”
- If they don’t let you speak to the victim, ask them to describe the victim or describe the vehicle they drive, if applicable.
- Listen carefully to the voice of the kidnap victim if they speak.
- Attempt to call, text, or contact the victim via social media. Request that the victim call back from his cellphone.
- While staying on the line with alleged kidnappers, try to call the alleged kidnap victim from another phone.
- To buy time, repeat the caller’s request and tell him you are writing down the demand, or tell the caller you need time to get things moving.
- Don’t directly challenge or argue with the caller. Keep your voice low and steady.
- Request that the victim call back from his cellphone.
During the cold winter months, area drivers may be tempted to warm up their cars while they stay warm inside. But cars left running, unlocked, and unattended are quick and easy targets for thieves. NCPC offers the following tips so you won’t be left out in the cold:
Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when are away from it, even for “just a minute.”
• Keep valuables out of sight or in the trunk. Purses, credit cards, and cell phones in plain view only help attract thieves.
• Always roll up the windows and lock your car, even if it is in your driveway, garage, or in front of your home.
• Never leave the registration or title in your car. If stolen, it makes it easier for the thief to dispose of your vehicle. It can also make you a target for identity theft.
• Be alert when approaching your car, have a plan of action, and have your keys in your hand. Check around, under and in your vehicle for suspicious individuals. Immediately leave the scene to get help if you have any concerns for your safety.
• Only park your car in busy, well-lighted areas.
• Install a mechanical locking device—commonly called clubs, collars, or j-bars—that locks to the steering wheel, column, or brake.
• If your vehicle has an alarm or other anti-theft device, use it.
Lawrence police Prisoner property
Lawrence Police has unclaimed prisoner property and will be contacting said property owners.
According to Mass General Law Chapter 135 section 8 unclaimed properties in possession of the Police Department.
Section 8. If such property remains unclaimed in the possession of such police department or member thereof for one month and the owner thereof or his place of abode or business is unknown, or if the owner and his place of abode or business are known and the owner, after receipt by registered mail of a written notice from such department or member to take possession of said property, refuses or fails for a period of ten days following said receipt so to do, such department may sell the same, excepting money unclaimed, by public auction or any other licensed auction service, including sale over the Internet, notice of the time and place of sale, with a description of the property to be sold, first being given by publishing the same once in each of three successive weeks in a newspaper published in such city. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars and by forfeiture of any such property obtained as a result of such violation.