A telephone scammer made the mistake on Memorial Day of calling the private line of a Maine state trooper, telling the trooper that he had missed grand jury duty and would be arrested if he didn’t pay a fine or make a donation to the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

The trooper told the scammer that if he called again, Maine law enforcement would track him down and arrest him, Sheriff Dale Lancaster said Tuesday.

“When they inadvertently contacted a law enforcement officer, he said, ‘If you call again, we’re going to hunt you down,'” Lancaster said.

The call was one of at least four that were reported on Monday, Lancaster said.

Lancaster said the department received several complaints “that an individual identifying himself as Officer Evans from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office was making contact by phone with citizens from the greater Fairfield area, advising them that they had missed a call for grand jury and a warrant for their arrest had been issued.”

“If the receiver of the call agreed to pay a specific amount of money, the warrant would be recalled. If they did not want to pay the money, a deputy would be out to arrest them,” he said.

One of the calls demanded $800, Lancaster said.

He said there’s no officer named Evans with the department.

“This is a scam,” Lancaster said. “No one is immune from these scams.”

Police ran a trace of the phone number Monday that showed “Officer Evans” was using a pre-paid phone that had been bought somewhere in Georgia. The caller had a cellphone answering system with voice mail set up so that when someone called the number back, the voicemail identified the phone as belonging to “Officer Evans from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.”

“These scams are becoming much more sophisticated,” Lancaster said. “As law enforcement and the community become much more educated on scams, they’re upping their game, becoming more deceptive — and to have a voice mail, that’s why I’m putting it out there, it’s very disconcerting — call us directly, or call the comm center.”

So far, he said, there have been no reports of money being exchanged.

He said grand jury selection would not involve such calls and the sheriff’s department would never ask anyone to send money to address a court issue.

“And the courts do not work on holidays or weekends,” he added.

The phone number for the sheriff’s office is 474-9591. The Somerset County Communications Center phone number is 474-6386.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow