The real Dale Lancaster doesn’t use Facebook all that often.

Law enforcement agencies in central Maine want the public to know that, following another recent scam co-opting the name of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

This time, the scammer used the name of Dale Lancaster, the county sheriff. The last scammer to use the sheriff’s department’s name got a wrong number when he called a state trooper on Memorial Day, claiming the trooper had missed jury duty and owed money or would be arrested.

The newest scam has popped up on Facebook. Police said they don’t know whether the recent scams are connected.

“If you receive a friend request from Dale Lancaster (the county sheriff), don’t accept it,” says a June 2 Facebook posting on the sheriff’s department page, which had been shared 48 times as of Friday. “It is a scammer.”

The fraudulent message says: “Good news about the world federal government monetary program to help the young and Old Age people in the community, have you gotten your own money from Agent jimmy Thomas.”


Cryptic, but not actually from Sheriff Lancaster, the sheriff’s office says in its reply.

The Dale Lancaster for Sheriff’s Facebook page shows his last entry on Nov. 10 thanking voters for electing him. There are no other entries, but there are several more Dale Lancasters out there on Facebook. One is a union glazier; one is from Sheffield, England; one is from Washington University in St. Louis; and another is from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Fairfield police Officer Casey Dugas received a friend request from the fake Lancaster. Dugas responded on the department’s Facebook page that he had reported the matter to Facebook.

The telephone scammer on Memorial Day made the mistake 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.

“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 that day.


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.

Police ran a trace of the phone number on Memorial Day that showed “Officer Evans” was using a pre-paid track phone bought somewhere in Georgia. The caller had a cellphone answering system with voicemail 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 at the time. “As law enforcement and the community become much more educated on scams, they’re upping their game, becoming more deceptive — and to have a voicemail, that’s why I’m putting it out there, it’s very disconcerting.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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