WASHINGTON — A scam that surfaced in Arlington County earlier this year and has now popped up in Prince George’s County: Telephone fraudsters try to persuade potential victims to pay an immediate fine or face arrest.
“The citizen is told that they failed to meet a court date and as a result of that there’s judgment against them, but the judgment will be put aside if they pay the fines,” says Sharon Taylor, spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office.
Potential victims are told to pay the fine using a prepaid MoneyPak card available at grocery, department and convenience stores.
“What we want to do is let people know so they don’t drop their guard,” Taylor says. “If they get a call like that … simply hang up the phone.”
Police say people should never provide personal information to telephone callers and should not comply with money demands.
Courts, sheriff’s offices and the IRS do not demand payment by prepaid MoneyPak cards.