A retired police lieutenant is now at the center of a recent scam.
Torrington police said a number of people, who not only live in the city but also in the surrounding communities, have received phone calls from someone claiming they're a retired officer, and are soliciting donations.
Michael Emanuel was part of the Torrington Police Department for 25 years, and served as the public information officer as well.
Tracy Eckert said she was in complete shock, when she picked up her home phone and heard the voice of someone she's known for years on the other end, soliciting donations for police officers who were killed in the line of duty.
"He identified himself. He said, ‘Hi, this is Michael Emanuel’,” Eckert said. "We have worked together, we have been in a classroom together.”
She is a trained psychotherapist and worked with Emanuel and various police departments.
After getting the first of three phone calls, she grabbed her cellphone to text him.
"So I texted him and he just immediately texted me back and said ‘this isn't me, this is a computer generated voice…Can you give me the number from which they called me from’,” Eckert said.
Several others who know Emanuel got the same, if not similar, phone call.
In a statement to police, Emanuel said “It is possible that someone hacked into my address book either on my cell phone (iPhone) or my computer (MacBook laptop), since my contact list is the same on both devices. I say this because every person who mentioned they received a call from these solicitors is included in my address book."
He said it is also possible that the person behind this fraudulent activity may have taped his voice from his years as a PIO, and used it in the robocall.
"It's scary in terms of I really believe there are a lot of folks out there who will open up their hearts and become victim,” Eckert said.
Torrington police maintain the calls are not affiliated with the police department. If you receive one of the calls and are concerned, don't hesitate to give them a call.
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