Scammers claim to be Va. State Police, threaten arrest in new con

WASHINGTON — Imagine getting a call from someone saying they’re the Virginia State Police and threatening to arrest you unless you pay $5,000.

Seems terrifying, right? The good news is it’s a scam.

The Virginia State Police warns residents in Northern Virginia not to fall victim to this scheme.

In the scam, the caller ID shows up as “Commonwealth of Virginia.” The caller claims to be with the Virginia State Police and threatens to arrest the recipient unless they pay a certain amount of money, usually around $5,000.

Bryan DeVasher with the Virginia State Police said police would never attempt to collect any fines over the phone and state police certainly wouldn’t call someone to tell them there is a warrant for their arrest.

The best thing that anyone who receives these calls can do is to hang up the phone. But DeVasher warned that the caller tends to be aggressive and usually makes repeated calls in a short period of time.

Consumers can also file a complaint on the Federal Communications Commission’s website.

The FCC has the following tips for consumers when dealing with phone scammers:

  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If someone calls claiming to represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request.
  • Use caution if you are pressured for information immediately.
  • If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
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