Sheriff Coppinger Warns of Telephone Fine Collection Scam

Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger warns residents to beware of a telephone scam that purports to be from the Sheriff’s Department and seeks payment of past fines.

Many residents reported receiving a call from someone falsely identifying himself as “Sgt. Roberts from the Essex County Sheriff’s Department.” The caller advises the citizen they have past due legal fines that can be settled for approximately $2,000 by giving credit card information.

“At no time would an Essex County employee ever phone people to demand fine payments,” said Coppinger, “This practice of demanding payment immediately over a phone is an obvious sign of a scam and illegal attempt to defraud.”

Calls come from the phone number 978-704-0628 and the voicemail on this line deceptively referenced the Sheriff’s office and its address. The number has since been disconnected.

In the past few months, sheriff departments in Massachusetts and New Hampshire have experienced similar scams. The Essex County Sheriff’s Department will be working with other agencies to identify the caller and refer them to law enforcement for prosecution.

Anyone who receives a call similar to this is encouraged to contact their local police department and to file an online complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at

Coppinger cautioned, “Citizens should remember that under no circumstances should they give out personal information over the phone.”