A call purported to be from Newburyport police demanding $10,000 face arrest is a scam, according to city marshal Mark Murray.

Murray said the male caller claimed to be an active Newburyport officer and came from a number that spoofed a local phone number. The caller spoke with a middle eastern accent, Murray said.

“Residents should note that officers from the Newburyport Police Department will never call you regarding an arrest, nor demand money. Anyone who believes that they may have fallen victim to this scam is encouraged to contact us immediately," Murray said.

Murray said there has also been an increase in reported calls about relatives needing bail money after being arrested. A person posing as a courier or bail bondsman will then come to the home of the person who agreed to post the "bail" to pick up the money.

The scam has happened in other communities, according to Murray, who said bail is never picked up at a residence, paid via a wire service or with prepaid debit cards.

“Oftentimes, scammers will target vulnerable populations such as the elderly and ask them to withdraw large sums of cash or purchase large amounts of gift cards,” Murray said.

The Massachusetts’s Attorney General’s Office offers some suggestions to avoid other scams and frauds:

  • Do not give out your credit card information to someone calling over the phone.
  • Do not give in to the pressure to make a decision immediately.
  • If in doubt, do not give out your information. Report anyone claiming to be a government worker to local police.
  • Monitor incoming calls. Do not pick up unknown numbers or random calls. If a call is important, the caller will leave a message.
  • If you do pick up and learn it is a scam call, do not engage. Just hang-up.

Anyone who feels like they have been victimized should call their local police department.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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