A man posing as a lieutenant with the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office is calling residents and threatening them with arrest unless he is paid off, authorities said Tuesday.

A man identifying himself as Lt. Vance Berry has told the residents they missed jury duty and a warrant has been issued for their arrest, Sheriff Eric Samson said in a statement Wednesday.

“The male caller appears to know many facts about the resident and sounds convincing. He then tells the resident that if they get a specified amount of money and (agree to) meet him, the warrant will be taken care of,” Samson said in the statement. “The sheriff’s office has no one by this name and we do not call residents to say there is a warrant for their arrest.”

The sheriff’s office has launched a criminal investigation into the phone scam. Anyone contacted by this individual should contact Sgt. Maurice Drouin at 753-2500, ext. 1717.

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