Residents, beware. There’s a new scam happening in the local area and PFC Tara Gerhard, crime prevention officer with the Sully District Police Station, wants people to know about it.
“Suspects are calling residents, claiming they are detectives on the Fairfax County Police Department,” she said. “Your caller ID will show a phone number that will actually return to our agency, if you were to research it. The suspects will tell you there is a warrant out for your arrest, but if you pay ‘restitution,’ the warrants will ‘go away.’ The suspects will do everything they can to keep you on the phone until they get your money/financial information.”
Gerhard said these callers have kept victims on the phone for two to three hours, using scare tactics to bully them into giving personal and financial information. But that’s not all.
“Once the suspects receive the initial payment, they will often call the victim back, claiming they need more money to dissolve the warrants,” said Gerhard. “Under no circumstances should you provide these individuals your information or meet with them in person to give them money.”
Therefore, she said, anyone receiving a phone call of this nature should not assume it’s really from the police. Instead, said Gerhard, “I highly suggest you call the Fairfax County Police Department’s Warrant Desk, 703-246-4231, to verify if you are actually wanted. You can also call the non-emergency number, 703-691-2131, to verify this, as well as file a police report.”
She said police do make phone calls for misdemeanor warrants, but they will never ask for financial information over the phone. “Police officers and detectives do not take restitution payments,” said Gerhard. “If we call you reference a warrant, we will ask you to turn yourself in at your local police station or at the Adult Detention Center.” Meanwhile, she added, “Please share this information with family and friends.”