AUBURN — Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson does not have a “deep southern accent.”

So beware of a phone call from someone with a southern drawl claiming to be him.

The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department issued a scam alert Wednesday, warning residents to be wary any phone call saying they had a warrant issued for their arrest.

The department’s communication center has received several calls the past few days from citizens reporting such phone calls from someone identifying himself as Samson, according to a news release from Chief Deputy William Gagne.

“We decided to call the phone number to speak with the person pretending to be Sheriff Samson. Upon calling the number the person on the other end of the call answered “Sheriff’s Department”. Our deputy (pretending to be a citizen) informed him that he had a voice mail stating that he had a ‘warrant’ out for my arrest. The individual identified themselves as Sheriff Eric Samson of Androscoggin County.

“The fake sheriff had a thick southern accent (which the real sheriff does not) and could not state Androscoggin clearly and likely would not have been able to spell it either (which the real sheriff can both state and spell).”

Saying he needed to verify the warrant, the man claiming to be Samson said he needed to check the name. He “confirmed” there were warrants for failure to appear and a “contempt of court warrant for failing to show up for jury duty.”

The fake sheriff said the caller would need to pay $2,500 to clear the warrants.

“After our deputy stated that this was just too expensive, the fake sheriff stated that his lieutenant could override the warrants and reduce the amount to $500.00. He requested that the deputy go to a local store to purchase a ‘voucher’ since he was a government official and could not take money directly.”

The deputy was told to drive to a store while the fake sheriff remained on the line.

The deputy tried to lure the imposter into meeting him someplace local was not successful, according to Gagne.

The phone number has since been disconnected.

Residents are urged to report any such suspicious phone calls to their local law enforcement agency.

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