International phone scam strikes Loudoun County

WASHINGTON – Loudoun County, Va., officials are warning people in the region of scammers who are calling victims and posing as the local sheriff’s office.

The latest pitch is happening in Loudoun County where people are being asked to donate to the local sheriff’s troubled youth program. But the call isn’t from a sheriff’s department. The trickster is coming from a voice-over IP address somewhere overseas, according to officials.

The scam operates in a similar way to something someone sees in their spam email.

Alexandria, Va., Police Chief Earl Cook says it’s harder to catch these particular bad guys because with national and international crimes, the help of federal authorities is needed. And that makes it even more complicated to recover property or go after an individual.

“It’s just that we’re fishing in a deep ocean,” Cook said.

The advice, whether over the phone or online: Don’t give out personal information and never send money.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow @hsilverbergWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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