Fake sheriff’s office phone scam duping residents

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jan 22, 2015

Virginia Beach, Va. - Doctor Jason Campbell says he almost fell for it.

“It was one of those things you can`t put your finger on. Is it true is not true.”

A caller claiming to be a captain at the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office said Campbell’s wife missed jury duty and now had to pay up. If not, they said she was going to jail.

“You know our two-year-old is asleep, and the last thing I want is my wife being hauled off to jail,” Campbell says.

Campbell, a dentist at Seaside Dentistry in Virginia Beach, says from the start he was skeptical but the whole thing was so detailed that it gave him pause.

“He had people coming in and out calling him Captain Holloway,” Campbell says. “He called someone else sergeant. There was police scanners in the background."

Sheriff Ken Stolle says Campbell is not the first to be targeted by this scam. He says it started about a month ago, and so far says there have been about a dozen reports.

“That is contrary to everything we do here,” says Sheriff Stolle. “Anytime a deputy asks you for money, it`s a scam because we don`t collect money.”

Campbell says the most questionable part was the scammer told him to bring the $1,200 he owed to the Virginia Beach Courthouse.

“He was sending me to the courthouse so I was thinking this must be legit,” he says. But Campbell took action and had his wife call police. He stayed on the phone with the scammer until an officer arrived.

“I sent the police over and he actually got on the phone with the scam artist and said we know what`s going on,” he says.

From there it got interesting. He could hear what the scammer was telling the officer.
“He was like, you`re going to give me money, you`re not going to be able to catch me. I`m in Oregon. I`m making money tonight,” Campbell says.

The scammer did not receive any money. Now Beach police, the sheriff's office and the Commonwealth's Attorney's office are all investigating.

We dialed the number Campbell says was used but it was disconnected. “We`re convinced it`s no one in the sheriff`s office, but it`s obviously someone pretty convincing because they are playing with the fears of people being arrested,” Sheriff Stolle says.

If you do miss jury duty, Sheriff Stolle says someone at the circuit court may call you to find out why you didn't show up, but they would never ask for personal information or money over the phone. If you receive a similar call, the sheriff says you should immediately call the police.

The Chesapeake Sheriff's Office has also sent out warnings regarding this scam. They say citizens have reported that a person identifying themselves as Detective Riley, Captain Hollowell and Sergeant Anderson are informing citizens than they missed jury duty or that they have an outstanding warrant for their arrest.

Those reporting the incidents now say that “City of Chesapeake” and the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office main telephone number (757-382-6159) display on their caller id.

If any Chesapeake residents receive a similar call, they should contact the Chesapeake Police Department at 757-382-6161