On Tuesday, a friend told the Mirror that during work, she received a call from what appeared to be the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office. She was told she did not appear for jury duty way back in the summer and a warrant was issued for her arrest. She was told she could avoid arrest by paying a fine, however, the fine was to be paid in gift cards. Even though it seemed odd, she said the person seemed so authentic that for a little while she believed him. She eventually figured out it was a scam before any money changed hands. Others have not been so lucky.
The Accomack County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that this type of scam against citizens, which in some cases have resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars to the victims, has happened several times.
The scammer’s use caller ID spoofing, which makes it seem as if the call is coming from a specific number, such as this case where the number is the sheriff’s office. The Sheriff says these callers proceed to make the victims feel as though they’re speaking with law enforcement who indicate that warrants have been issued on them for failure to appear for jury duty and fines have been assessed. Typically, the intended victims receiving these calls are instructed to obtain loadable debit cards and place a predetermined amount of money on the card. The intended victim will then be instructed to provide certain information to the caller resulting in the victim losing these funds.
This is just one of many scams that individuals have fallen victim to and it is strongly encouraged to not send money to anyone that you do not know, however if you decide to, thoroughly check out the circumstances and ensure you are confident that the claim is legitimate. Prior to sending any money, it is suggested that you obtain as much information as possible from the caller such as their name, phone number, company name and address and their supervisor’s name, and verify that this information is correct by researching it yourself. If the caller refuses to provide any of those details, becomes intimidating or threatening, or pressures you to make a decision immediately, you should hang up, and if necessary, call your local law enforcement agency.
For additional tips on avoiding becoming a fraud victim, visit https://www.fbi.gov and click on the Scams and Safety link.
Anyone with information on this or any other incident is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office at (757) 787-1131 or (757) 824-5666. Tips may also be submitted through our website at accomackcountysheriffsoffice.org.