The City of Falls Church Police wants community members to be aware of a phone scam that is active in the area.
Officers have received reports from community members who stated that callers contact them claiming to be members of a police department or sheriff's department. The law enforcement impersonator may:
- refer to the community member by name,
- tell the community member the call is being recorded, and
- tell the community member they missed a court appearance or jury duty.
- state they need to send money or a warrant will be issued for their arrest or they may turn themselves in to jail.
Sometimes scams such as these will include spoofing a legitimate police agency phone number and using a real name of a law enforcement officer in an attempt to gain the trust of the victim. No government agency of any kind takes gift cards as payment.
If you receive a similar call, disconnect without providing any information or taking any instructions from the caller.
The City of Falls Church Police reminds you to be aware that:
- The City of Falls Church Police does not call individuals and demand or request money from community members under any circumstances.
- The City of Falls Church Police or any other legitimate law enforcement agency does not call community members seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants. This includes claims of unpaid federal or state taxes.
- Individuals claiming to collect debts may try to instill fear in potential victims to persuade them to forward money.
If you fall victim to these scammers with financial loss, you are encouraged to file a report by calling the City of Falls Church Police 's Non-Emergency line at 703-241-5053 (TTY 711).
Tips to help avoid becoming a victim to this scam:
- Never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email.
- Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
- Stay private. Regularly update privacy settings for social media sites. Scammers often make their stories more believable by trolling for personal information on Facebook, Twitter and similar sites.
- Remember that anyone who has the number on a prepaid card has access to the funds on your card. Never wire money or provide debit or credit card numbers to a stranger.
For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Scam Alert website www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts.