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Portsmouth police warn citizens about phone scam

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Posted at 11:34 AM, Sep 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-09 11:34:31-04

Portsmouth, Va. – A phone scam has been reported in the city of Portsmouth. Locals are contacting police with complaints.

The Portsmouth Police Department would like to warn citizens about the scam being reported within the city over the last several days.

The Police Department has taken reports from several citizens who have stated that they received a telephone call from a male suspect, who identified himself as Lieutenant Michael Lewis with the Police Department’s Warrant Division. The suspect tells the victims that he “has a warrant for their arrest” for missing jury duty and that they would need to pay a fee or he will come to their home and arrest them. During these calls, the suspect tells the victim to purchase a “Green Dot” card from a local store and activate it for $400. The victim is then instructed to call the Lieutenant back and speak with him or his “partner”, Lieutenant Michael Davis, giving them the information on the Green Dot card. Victims are reporting that when they are unable to make contact with the suspect at the telephone number they are given, they are hearing a voicemail message saying “Portsmouth County Warrant Division, please leave a message”.

Although only a handful of reports have been filed so far, detectives believe there may be more victims. Portsmouth Police are encouraging citizens to report this type of activity immediately.

Police would also like to remind citizens that members of the Portsmouth Police Department will never contact you by telephone about missing Jury Duty. Police will never ask you to obtain a pre-paid credit card to pay a fine to avoid arrest or ask you for your own personal credit/debit card information, to include the pin number and any other identifying information over the telephone. Please report all suspicious activity to the Portsmouth Police Department at (757) 393-5300.