HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Henry County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning on Thursday about a potential scam in which a caller claims to be a member of the sheriff’s office as a way to gain personal information or payments from residents.
According to authorities, the scam call may look like a legitimate phone call since the caller ID may indicate the caller is from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and have a local number.
Then, as a way to acquire sensitive information or money, the caller may falsely claim that the victim’s identity has been stolen, the victim has current criminal charges or warrants pending, the victim’s family member has been arrested, or the victim has missed jury duty.
“The scammer will advise the victim they need to send money immediately in order for the issue to be cleared. This is often done by demanding payment with verbal threats and intimidating the individual. The scammers most often request the money be transferred or wired into an account; however, they may request payment in the form of gift cards,” the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Thursday, June 17. “Scammers tend to create a sense of urgency in an attempt to manipulate the victims to act quickly. Do not give into their demands for you to take immediate action and make a payment.”
Here are some other tips from Henry County officials for handling potential scam calls:
- Be suspicious if you receive an unexpected request, whether it comes in the form of a telephone call, text, app message, or email.
- Never give out personal information like credit card or account numbers, Social Security numbers, mothers’ maiden names, passwords, or other identifying information to unexpected callers.
- Do not send money in any form.
- Law enforcement will never demand payment over the phone.
- If you receive an inquiry from someone claiming represent a company or a government agency and seeking personal information, hang up and verify the authenticity of the request by calling the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website.
- Be cautious of Caller ID because advances in technology have made it possible for scammers to spoof or fake the number from which they are calling.
- If you are being pressured for information or threatened with jail time or fines, contact your local law enforcement.
- Telephone scams should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission.
- Regularly check your credit score and bank statements for unusual activity.
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