Norfolk Police warn of electronic scheme that asks for personal and financial information

Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 23:19:41-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Detectives with the Norfolk Police Department are warning Norfolk residents of a new electronic scheme that is targeting the area.

As of Friday, the department's Economic Crimes Unit says several Norfolk citizens have received text messages claiming to be from the Norfolk Fire Department. The text message reads:

Norfolk Fire Dept. decided to lock your account. Resolve the situation now at 1-877-291-4690.

Once the number is dialed, a computerized voice prompts the caller to enter a debit or ATM card number for verification of their account. Police are warning citizens not to provide personal information to unknown sources.

"Members of the Norfolk Fire-Rescue will never solicit community members' financial information, whether in text, email, phone or in person," stated Fire-Rescue Spokesman Battalion Chief Julian Williamson. "This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts."

If you think you are the target of a scheme, detectives encourage citizens to take the following precautions:

  1. Don’t reply.
  2. Don’t open any attachments.  They can contain a virus or malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
  3. Don’t click on any links.  If you clicked on links in a suspicious text message and provided confidential information, contact your financial institution(s) immediately to help resolve any pending transactions or identity theft that may occur.
  4. Maintain as many details as possible about the suspicious communication and contact your local police department to report the scheme.  Details can include, but are not limited to, the verbiage of the suspicious text, caller information, or links provided.
  5. Delete the communication from your electronic device.
  6. Warn family, friends, and colleagues of the scheme to help prevent fraud and identity theft.

Contact the Norfolk Police Department's Economic Crimes Section at (757) 664-7018 if you believe you have fallen victim to fraud.