Police in Arlington County, Virginia, are dealing with scammers targeting residents.
It starts with a phone call from someone who claims to be with law enforcement.
“They’ll tell the individual that they’ve missed jury duty and, as a result, a warrant will be issued for their arrest unless they pay a fine,” said Ashley Savage, a public information specialist at the county’s police department.
And that’s how they try to get you. Savage said scammers aim to catch you off-guard.
“I think what really the scammers are looking to do is to play on the fears of individuals,” Savage said. By posing as an authority figure, “that really puts fear in the individual that they need to move quickly.”
With scams like this, police often see perpetrators asking victims to pay with gift cards or Bitcoin over the phone, Savage told WTOP. She said this is one indication of a scam.
“We want you to also be mindful that individuals, unfortunately, will mimic phone numbers. So, they could use a phone number that appears on your caller ID as though it’s from a legitimate location like our nonemergency telephone line,” Savage said.
Savage said you can look up the phone number directly for your local law enforcement agency and call them to confirm the credibility of that information. She reminds residents to be careful.
“Most local law enforcement agencies are not going to call you to collect fines. And so, if somebody does call you with something of this nature, hang up, contact the police department directly to verify the credibility of the information that you received.” Savage said.