Area police warn of 2 telephone scams

WASHINGTON – Police are warning of two new telephone scams. One involves crooks claiming to work for the police, while the other claims a relative of yours has been hurt in an accident.

The first group of scammers has been calling the Manassas, Va., area claiming to work for the city’s police department. The callers say they are selling items or soliciting funds for public safety in the city.

Manassas police spokesman Sgt. Lowell Nevill says there are telltale signs that these calls are scams.

“The caller seems very impatient, pushy or rude, or maybe they are overly complimentary or maybe they’re trying to tug at your heartstrings or try to relate to you in a specific way,” he says.

Nevill says pressuring you to make a commitment right there on the phone is another sign of a scam. He says if the local police were collecting funds for a specific reason, they would make it public ahead of time.

He suggests asking the caller to send information about the project in the mail.

Also, never give out personal financial information over the phone, Nevill says.

Meanwhile, police in Anne Arundel County report another scam is targeting residents there.

The caller claims your grandson or daughter has been involved in a car accident and needs you to wire money to help them. The caller threatens to harm your relative if you don’t send the money.

A request to wire money should be a red flag, police say.

Police say to stay calm if you get such a call, and to call police if you can use another phone. Write down the number of the caller if you can.

Anne Arundel Police Chief Larry Tolliver says one woman already has become a victim of a Medicare scam because she gave personal financial information to a caller.

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