Police Log: Serial Shoplifters Spotted at Target, Resident Caught in Rent Deposit Scam

Arrests

None

Incidents

July 6, 6:02 p.m.: The manager of the General Market on Waverley Avenue discovered that someone paid with a counterfeit $100. A man came in to cashed in some lottery tickets and purchased new scratch tickets. He owed $10 and gave a $100 bill to the person at the register, who gave back $90. Later the manager realized it was a fake bill. The suspect is described as an African-American man, around 20 years old, wearing a black sweatshirt with “Air Jordan” on the front, a black baseball hat, dark pants and a white medical mask.

Scams to Watch for Related to COVID-19, Unemployment

There are a number of ongoing scams to watch out for and Watertown Savings Bank has put together a list of the details for some of these scams.

Read the announcement from Watertown Savings below:

Safeguarding your personal and financial information is crucial to preventing fraud. We would like to make you aware of new scams—some related to COVID-19—that have recently affected our communities. The scammers have targeted the elderly, those applying for and receiving unemployment benefits, those seeking information on the coronavirus, and others. Elderly Scams: A scammer calls elderly residents claiming to be their grandchild or their grandchild’s lawyer; they proceed to tell fake stories to ask for money (e.g. the scammer claims the grandchild is in jail and needs bail money). Be mindful of the information you share on social media about your family and whereabouts.Always be wary of urgent requests for money made over the phone, by email, in person, or on social media.

Eversource Eliminating Late Fees, Disconnections During COVID-19 Outbreak; Warns of Scams

Eversources will not charge late fees or disconnect power from customers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. “We’ve suspended disconnections, late fees and taken other steps to help customers in response to COVID-19,” Eversource announced on its website. Eversource is also offering a flexible payment plan with no down payment. Customers should also be aware of ongoing scams.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has led to an increase in scam activity. Be wary of any unsolicited calls that threaten to disconnect your utility service and that demand payment by unusual means.

Sheriff Warns to Beware of Social Security Phone Scam

The following information was provided by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office:

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be alert for a recently reported government imposter scam. On Monday, the MSO received a call from an area resident alleging he had been contacted by a man purporting to be with the IRS. The perpetrator told the resident his Social Security number (SSN) had been canceled because it had been compromised and used in Texas by criminals. The perpetrator further told the resident his bank accounts had also been frozen as a result and that a member of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office would be following up with additional details. A short time later, the resident said he received a call from an individual posing as a member of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and was told that two deputies would collect his old Social Security card and issue him a new card and number. In an effort to further convince the resident the call was legitimate, the perpetrator used spoofing technology to make it appear as though the call was coming from a legitimate sheriff’s office telephone number. “It’s critically important for residents to be aware that their Social Security numbers cannot be canceled or suspended,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “Fortunately, in this case, the resident felt something was amiss and followed up with our office to confirm this was a scam.”

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of this, or any, imposter scam is encouraged to contact their local police department. Individuals may also report the matter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/Information#crnt&panel1-1.

Police Log: Multiple Car Broken Into, Fire Starts in Bin

The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department. Arrests

Sept. 27, 4:21 p.m.: Target security spotted a woman taking items off the shelf and put them into a handbag, which she also took off the shelf. She was stopped and security found women’s clothing, a pair of headphones along with the handbag. Police arrived and checked her record and found that she had two outstanding warrants.

Police Log: Eversource Scam, Argument Turns into Physical Encounter

The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department. Arrests

June 24, 10:10 a.m.: Officers encountered a woman on Arsenal Street near Irving Street and while speaking with her they found that she had four outstanding warrants for her arrest. The 47-year-old homeless woman was arrested on the warrants: three from Cambridge District Court, two for violating a harassment prevention order, and the third for violation of a harassment prevention order and criminal harassment; the fourth warrant was from Brighton District Court for possession of a Class B drug. June 27, 5:23 a.m.: Police patrolling on foot on the Community Path — the bike and pedestrian path behind Target — encountered a man who they discovered was wanted on two warrants. The 33-year-old Boston man was arrested on the warrants, both from Quincy District Court.

Scams Aimed at Seniors the Topic of Local Cable Show, Inside Watertown

Watertown Senior Center Director Anne-Marie Gagnon, far right, and Watertown Police Det. Patty Grady, second from right, appeared on “Inside Watertown” to talk abut scams aimed at seniors and others. The latest episode of Inside Watertown tackles of the subject of scams, many of which are aimed at older members of our community. Members of the Watertown Police Department and Senior Center Director Ann-Marie Gagnon spoke with co-hosts Charlie Breitrose and Bob Airasian during the episode of the Watertown Cable show. Gagnon said she has heard more conversations at the Senior Center about people being scammed or worried about becoming a victim.

Police Log: Man Wrestles with Officer Trying to Serve Warrant, Scam Involving High-End Toilet Seats

The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department. Arrests

March 18, 10:23 p.m.: Target security caught two people taking items out of the store without paying. Two men were seen concealing numerous cosmetics items, as well as a four pack of Sutter Home wine. They attempted to leave through the store’s mall exit without paying. They were stopped and security found one man had cosmetics worth $31.53.