The Morris County Sheriff’s Office advises the Morris County community of the resurgence of a telephone scam that falsely uses the Morris County Sheriff’s Office name while targeting residents for personal information.
A caller recently identified himself as an employee of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in a conversation with an individual, requested personal identifying information and warned that the individual had to surrender at a particular location on an active warrant.
Callers also have requested that victims purchase gift cards and provide the gift card numbers to them.
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office will never solicit private or financial information in a telephone call. Such calls should immediately be reported to local police or to the Morris County Sheriff’s Office at 973-285-6600 during the day and at 973-285-2900 after hours.
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Squad, on a limited basis, may call individuals who are overdue on child support payments after those individuals previously have been notified by official letter. To verify the legitimacy of a warrant, call the Morris County Sheriff’s Office at 973-285-6640.
“In the event you receive a call from a person purporting to be a Morris County Sheriff’s Officer or from a law enforcement agency, never give personal or financial information over the telephone. Never agree to meet such a caller at any random location. Hang up and verify the legitimacy of the call by dialing an official, listed number for the agency,” Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said.
Similar scams surfaced in Morris County in 2018 and 2019 in which callers posed as Morris County Sheriff’s Officers and sought personal information and Green Dot MoneyPak cards to pay for false warrants, civil process fees, overdue IRS payments and fines for non-appearance for jury service.
ALL AGENCY INFORMATION AND CONTACTS CAN BE ACCESSED AND VERIFIED THROUGH THE MORRIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE WEBSITE AT WWW.SHERIFF.MORRISCOUNTYNJ.GOV.
CRIME PREVENTION TIPS TO AVOID FALLING VICTIM TO PHONE SCAMS:
Legitimate law enforcement agencies will not tell people to provide money card information to avoid arrest.
Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
Never provide personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you, unsolicited.
Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers or Green Dot MoneyPak card numbers to a stranger.
Remember that anyone who has the number of a Green Dot MoneyPak card has access to funds on the card.
If you receive a scam phone call, try to gather names, the incoming telephone number and other details, and immediately report the call to local police.
Hundreds of people of diverse faiths, including Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Christian, gathered in solidarity at the first Morris County Community Rally Against Hate emceed Thursday evening by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon.
Though heavily secure as a precaution through planning spear-headed by the Sheriff’s Office, the 90-minute unity rally on January 9 at the Gottesman RTW Academy in Randolph Township was peaceful and poignant from start to finish.
“We are here taking a stand together against hate, ignorance and bigotry that all lead to a society that’s unstable. I think we are better protected when we care for each other,” Sheriff Gannon told the crowd of nearly 400 attendees.
The decision to hold a rally was collectively made by the Morris County Freeholders, Sheriff Gannon, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and leaders in the Chabad-Lubavitch community – primarily Rabbi Levi Dubinsky, Director of Chabad of Mountain Lakes, Boonton and Denville – after horrific attacks in December 2019 on Jewish people in Jersey City and Monsey, New York.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, the first Sikh-American in United States history to hold the position, spoke of escalating religion-based violence, particularly against people of Jewish faith.
The rally coincidentally was held on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, prompting Attorney General Grewal to recount how he and Police Officers in blue uniforms encountered young Jewish children in a school after visiting the Jersey City crime scene. The children immediately stood up animatedly, with respect, upon seeing the uniformed Officers, he said.
The Attorney General pressed for school curriculum to include lessons in human kindness and respect, along with continued teachings of the atrocities of the Holocaust that are mocked with anti-Semitic symbols.
Such education is imperative, he said, “So that we understand the context of these symbols and how painful they are. And when we confront these symbols in law enforcement, we can’t just stop them with a slap on the wrist and a promise not to do it again.”
Five community religious leaders offered insights into hate-based violence, including Reverend Herman Scott, the first African-American Chaplain at the Morris County Correctional Facility who faced prejudice and cruelty growing up because of his race.
Reverend Scott urged audience members to accept their common humanity and the inevitability of death for all – making the rich and the poor, the hater and hated, the same.
“When they die, they both go into a box, into the same ground. So, we can be unified in death. Let’s be unified in life,” Reverend Scott said.
Rabbi Dubinsky, who has forged strong bonds with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and serves as a liaison between the Chabad community and law enforcement Officers in the county, said hatred of others can be perpetuated through generations of families by adults who disparage other religions, ethnicities or races while their children soak up the words.
“If I may suggest that the message of unity and love begins at home, the message we give our children is really what shapes their viewpoints and how they see and approach others,” Rabbi Dubinsky said.
Basel Hamdeh, the Imam, or spiritual leader, of Jam-e-Masjid Islamic Center in Boonton, Chandu Bhoraniya, devotee of B.A.P.S. Swaminarayan Mandir in Parsippany, and Rabbi Mendy Herson, Associate Dean of the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, all shared their insights on tolerance and unity at the rally.
The program included the presentation of colors by the Morris County Sheriff’s Honor Guard, singing of the Star-Spangled Banner and Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem by Gottesman Academy children, and remarks by Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Freeholder Director Deborah Smith, Freeholder John Krickus, and Gottesman Head of School Moshe Vaknin.
New Jersey State Senator Anthony M. Bucco and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill – both unable to attend because of legislative duties – prepared videotaped messages urging a united front against inhumanity that were played for the audience.
Imam Hamdeh said he prayed that the rally marked a meaningful recommitment to standing strong against hatred. When his mosque in Boonton hosted a prayer service and peace walk on March 17, 2019, in response to the March 15 murders of worshipping Muslims at two mosques in New Zealand, people of many other religious faiths joined the walk in support.
“When our faith felt the pain, our brothers from the Jewish faith, our Christian brothers from the Christian faith and many other faiths and many others who share the values we have came together. When they came together, we certainly felt better. And today, we are here to say we are here for you,” Imam Hamdeh said.
Sheriff Gannon told the audience that the safety of worshippers of all faiths is an Agency priority. All necessary resources are devoted to reassurance and directed patrols around the 318 houses of worship in Morris County; the Agency’s RSVP-3 app has been launched to accept anonymous tips about threats; and MCSTAT, the Morris County Sheriff’s Trends and Analysis Team, monitors church and school-related incidents and collaborates with other law enforcement agencies on crime patterns.
“We never want to hear that violence has broken out while people are in the middle of the sacred act of praying,” Sheriff Gannon said.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon was sworn in Friday night, January 3, to a second term that he vowed would continue to focus on counter-terrorism, addiction recovery services, partnerships with the faith-based community, inmate re-entry programs, and fiscally-sound partnerships.
Morris County Superior Court Assignment Judge Stuart Minkowitz swore in Sheriff Gannon to a new three-year term as the Sheriff held his three-year-old grandson Luca in his arms while surrounded by his daughter Kate, her husband Matt, and their second child, Ella.
Sheriff Gannon was administered the oath of office during the annual reorganization of the Morris County Board of Freeholders. Also sworn in were Freeholder Doug Cabana to an eighth term, Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo to a third term, Freeholder Thomas Mastrangelo to a fourth term, and former Freeholder Heather Darling to her first, five-year term as Morris County Surrogate.
Sheriff Gannon told the crowd of several hundred well-wishers gathered in the Public Meeting room of the county Administration and Records Building that he owed successes to the support of the public, the Freeholders, and his administration, including Bureau of Law Enforcement Undersheriff Mark Spitzer, Bureau of Corrections Undersheriff Alan J. Robinson, Chief Kelley Zienowicz and Chief Warrant Officer Richard Rose.
“Morris County truly puts the unity in community,” Sheriff Gannon said.
He gave the crowd an overview of programs the Agency has honed, particularly Hope One, the mobile substance abuse resource and recovery program that achieved the milestone of making 10,000 contacts with individuals on New Year’s Eve.
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office Hope One, started on April 3, 2017, has led to the launch of similar programs in Newark, Burlington, Cape May, Monmouth and Atlantic Counties, and the city of Boston now is interested, the Sheriff said.
He noted the creation of the RSVP-3 program that focuses on eliminating threats to school safety and the use of a mobile app so that students, or anyone, can anonymous report potential dangers to the school environment.
Sheriff’s Officers have signed up to serve as Big Brothers and Big Sisters to young people in need of role models. The Agency has designated liaisons to build bridges with the LGBTQ community and, the Sheriff said, protection of all 318 houses of worship in Morris County will continue to be a priority.
“This is all done within budget, while returning millions of dollars from our Legal Section and our shared services agreement to the county of Morris,” he said, referring to a pact the Morris County Sheriff’s Office struck to house inmates from the Sussex County jail at Morris’s Correctional Facility.
“The year 2020 will be a great year for the Sheriff’s Office as we continue our focus on counter-terrorism, addiction and mental health services, partnerships with the faith-based community, enhanced re-entry programs, even greater partnerships with our public safety and private sector communities, and other shared service opportunities,” the Sheriff said.