SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – The Salem Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens about a scam that’s more frequently occurring that involves a scammer who impersonates a police officer.
The scammers claim to be a federal, state or local law enforcement officer who “spoofs” or creates a fake phone number that shows up on a caller ID to make it appear as if the call originates from a legitimate law enforcement agency number.
Once the call is connected, the scammer makes false claims that your identity has been stolen, that you have warrants for your arrest or you have bank accounts that contain drug money. They then ask for money to be sent to them for the charges to be cleared.
The scammers will often ask that the money be transferred or wired to an account or to make payment via a gift card. They may also ask for bank account information.
The Salem Sheriff’s Office suggests that if you receive one of these calls, to hang up immediately.
Scammers could make follow-up calls and claim to be from the Attorney General’s Office or with Social Security in an attempt to work up a trust with you.
They say that no law enforcement officer will ever contact citizens requesting any kind of payment be made over the phone to clear up any criminal charge or warrant, nor will they ask for any bank account information.
Deputies urge citizens to not give into the pressure of these scammers. Do not provide them with any personal information including bank account information, social security or any other form of personal details.
If you receive one of these calls, there are several ways to go about reporting it.
- Call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4367.
- Report all robocalls and unwanted telemarketing calls to the Do Not Call Registry
- Report Caller ID spoofing to the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322