The city of Falls Church is warning about a spoofing scam involving the police department.
The city said some residents had calls come in which appear to be from the city’s police department, but that’s not the case. Instead, the calls came from someone looking to scam the person they called out of money.
Spoofing is when someone uses technology to fraudulently display legitimate phone numbers of entities, such as government agencies and law enforcement.
In this instance, the city said scammers will even urge the person they called to look up the phone number and verify it is the department’s number. If the person falls for it, the caller will threaten to arrest the person if they don’t send money for things such as fines, traffic citations or even bail.
Some scammers know personal information about the people they call, such as background information, birth dates and names of family members. They may also try to pry more personal information out of you like Social Security numbers, information they can then sell illegally.
The city said the police department would never collect money over the phone and would for those be handled by court systems. Court systems also don’t collect money over the phone.
If you are ever in doubt about a call claiming to be from the police department, the city said hang up and call Falls Church Police Dispatch at 703-241-5050 to confirm it is actually someone from the police department.