VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Beach Police Department warns community members of a phone scam that claims to be a sergeant in the department.
Police say the law enforcement impersonator has referred to residents by name and tells resident they have an outstanding warranty or have missed court or jury duty. The calls also appears to come from a legitimate VBPD phone number, using a fake caller ID.
The caller will make demands for residents to send payment by means of prepaid gift cards, prepaid debit cards or wire transfers in order to avoid jail time.
When a payment is made to a scammer using prepaid gift cards or wire transfers in this fashion, it is very difficult to get that money back, as they typically access the funds right away.
Virginia Beach Police says they will not call community members seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants.
VBPD tips to avoid becoming a victim of this type of scam include:
· Ask for the callers' identity and contact police independently. Do not call the number that appears on your caller ID
· Do not discuss personal or financial information to unsolicited callers, or by e-mail
· Do not wire money or provide bank account numbers or other financial card numbers (credit, debit or any other prepaid cards) to anyone you do not know
· Stay private – regularly update privacy settings for social media sites. Scammers will often troll for personal information on Facebook, Twitter and other commonly used sites to make their stories more believable
Police say if you receive a similar call, disconnect without providing any information or taking any instructions from the caller.
Anyone fallen victim to one of these scams are encouraged to call the Virginia Beach Police non-emergency number (757) 385-5000 to file a report.