North Main Street Woman’s Phone Held Hostage By Cybercriminals

The following came from incident reports of the Westford Police Department. Incident reports can be obtained at the Communications Desk at the Westford Police Station.

Jan. 31, 7:46 p.m. – Police were dispatched to North Main Street after receiving a call from a woman concerned about her cell phone.

The woman reported that she attempted to use a GPS application on her phone, but instead received a notification for a website called “Cyberpolice,” which stated she was in violation of federal online statutes for child pornography.

According to the Cyberpolice page, the phone would be locked until she purchased a $100 iTunes gift card, which would be transferred to the Cyberpolice.

She told police that she did not make any purchase and did not have any personal information on the phone, which she said was a TracPhone.

In addition, she had contacted a TracPhone representative who advised her to purchase another phone.

The officer looked at the image on the “Cyberpolice” website and determined that the image was not child pornography, but was pornographic in nature.

At this point, the officer also advised the woman to purchase another phone, or remove the phone’s SIM card. The woman thanked the officer and said she would purchase another phone the next day.

Feb. 5, 6:04 p.m. – An employee of Tedeschi’s on Brookside Road called police for the sake of documentation as he claimed National Grid was supposed to restore power to the business several hours earlier but had not done so.

During that time, the employee said frozen food owned by the store had gone bad.

Police told the employee that other parts of town were also experiencing power outages.

Feb. 8, 12:32 p.m. – While on patrol, an officer was dispatched to the rear parking lot of Ace Hardware on Groton Road.

There an employee of Ace Hardware said that a blue Mitsubishi sedan was parked in the rear parking lot two days earlier by an individual who said the car was having mechanical issues.

The Mitsubishi owner was allowed to leave the car there on the condition it would be picked up the next day.

However, instead of taking back the car, it was discovered that the car’s license plates were removed and the car was left in its spot.

Police contacted the owner of the car, who indicated that instead of removing the car, a charity was coming over to pick it up.

The owner of the car was informed that the car was impeding snow removal and that he could be liable for vehicle trespassing if the car was not removed within 72 hours. He understood and also indicated he would inform the store about the charity coming to pick up the car.

Police notified the employee, who was satisfied with the arrangement.