FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2019
Loudoun County, VA- As scammers are increasingly fraudulently obtaining money from victims through money cards, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) is reaching out to residents and local businesses to help educate the community and reduce the number of victims of fraud.
This week members of the LCSO Community Resource Unit are going business to business where money cards are sold to help employees identify potential victims of a scam. The LCSO is also providing a flier to post near areas where money cards are sold in the stores to help inform residents of the potential scams. The fliers will also be distributed to senior living communities and senior centers in Loudoun County.
The scams often start with a simple telephone call. The voice on the other end of the phone claims to be from a government agency of authority and threatens arrest if you don’t pay fines owed. The caller assures you all of this can be easily resolved if you obtain money cards from a local store and provide them with the serial numbers. In many cases the scammers claim to be from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, utility companies threating to turn off your electricity, and some even state they are a deputy from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. These scammers falsify or “spoof” their caller ID information to appear as if the call is originating from the agency or company they are impersonating.
“The suspects prey on a person’s fears by using the appearance of authority and by threatening arrest,” said Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman. “We hope to stop these crimes before they occur by educating residents and ensuring businesses who sell money cards are aware of the scams,” added Sheriff Chapman. The outreach initiative is being launched in October as part of National Crime Prevention Month.
The flier is available at http://sheriff.loudoun.gov/moneycard and reminds residents to:
- Never provide personal or financial information to anyone who e-mails or calls you unsolicited.
- Don’t wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers or money card numbers to someone you don’t know.
- Government agencies and utility companies will not contact you demanding immediate payment by money cards.
Residents are also reminded that law enforcement will never ask for money and residents are encouraged to contact the Loudoun Sheriff’s non-emergency number at 703-777-1021 to verify a caller claiming to be from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
If you are a resident of Loudoun County and believe you were a victim of a scam, please contact the Loudoun County Sheriff’s at 703-777-1021 or file a report online at http://sheriff.loudoun.gov/reportonline.