Dozens of senior citizens have been victimized by telephone scammers in recent weeks, and Fairfax County police are urging residents not to give out or verify financial information over the phone.
In the latest scam, victims are receiving calls from someone pretending to be from a utility company, delivery service or sweepstakes. Residents are told their service will be discontinued unless they pay by phone immediately. Frightened at the thought of no heat, power or phone, for example, victimized seniors provide their account numbers and payment information over the phone.
Additionally, many of the calls are made under the pretense that the information is required to send out important documents such as new health insurance or Social Security cards.
Typically, these calls arrive during the weekdays. Callers are both male and female; they may speak quickly or with an accent so that it may be difficult to understand what’s said. Often, callers know basic information about the victim, including name, age and address. Some potential victims have challenged the callers, who’ve then become frustrated and hung up.
Police remind residents, particularly older adults and their caregivers, never to provide personal or financial information over the phone. Verify the legitimacy of companies requesting funds using phone valid, official phone numbers. People believing they may have been victimized should make a report at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/crs/.