With the holiday time of year quickly approaching, the calls to citizens from unsavory characters are likely to increase trying to scare and swindle you out of your hard earned money. Don’t fall for these calls!
Some common calls making their way around the state and the nation include:
A phone call from someone identifying themselves as the sheriff or a deputy threatening to arrest if you don’t pay up for missing jury duty. They may ask for your credit card number or request a wire of money to a certain account. Don’t fall for it. Call your local sheriff’s office and report it. If by chance you did miss jury duty, you will receive a letter in the mail. You would have to go to the judge and explain why you missed jury duty. If any fines were involved, you would be notified at that time. Never, would a law enforcement agency threaten you with arrest or demand money for anything.
There are other scams that seem to be more real since the caller may know your name. Or, perhaps they bait you for information and you don’t even realize it.
Be aware of a call from your “grandchild” who says they were in a car wreck and need money to get out of jail, or towing, or pay a hospital bill. The potential victim says “Bobby, is that you?”, then the scammer utilizes this info to pull on your heartstrings and eventually open your wallet.
With tax season just around the corner, don’t let a call from the IRS scare you. Scammers are calling people stating that if they don’t pay up on their overdue taxes, they will immediately be arrested. Don’t fall for it! The IRS will NEVER call you and ask you for credit card to banking info to pay your taxes. They will send registered letters with documentation explaining the problem, if there is one. This is something they never do over the phone and never via email.
If you do get a strange call, stop a moment, take a breath and really think about what the caller is asking you to do. Be smart, protect your personal information and report any scam calls to the Sheriff’s office so we can warn others throughout the county.
You may also report scams to the VA Attorney General’s Office through their website: www.oag.state.va.us.