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Danville, VA Police Department Media Releases

Posted on: August 1, 2019

08-01-2019 Imposter scams

Imposters! They call and pose as your grandchild, your neighbor, your pastor, or even a government entity all in an effort to convince you to send them “emergency funds.” Scammers have become very adept at obtaining your personal information.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, “It could be hard to recognize an imposter through the lies they tell.  They use a variety of tricks to get your attention, whether it’s distracting you with a story or about the money you won or fear that you’ll be sued or arrested.”

These scammers usually ask for the funds in the form of Google Play cards, Visa gift cards, or even Western Union wire transfers.  According to the FTC, here are a few ways to avoid being a victim:

  • Be very suspicious - You should be very suspicious of anyone demanding these type of payments by phone.
  • Don’t wire money or send prepaid cards -  this is like sending cash and once it is gone, you can’t trace it back
  • Don’t pay for a prize – if you enter legitimate sweepstakes, you don’t have to pay for insurance, taxes, or shipping charges to collect your prize
  • Don’t give the caller your financial or other personal information – Never give out or confirm financial or other sensitive information over the phone
  • Don’t trust a name of number – Con-artists use official-sounding names to make you trust them and no matter how convincing they sound-they are lying!

No legitimate government official will ask you to send money to claim a prize or pay a debt.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be your family member asking for a wire transfer – you should independently contact the relative the scam artist is claiming to be at a known phone number to verify the details of the story.

If you have been the victim of a scam, contact the Danville Police Department and your financial institution right away. 

For more information visit:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0048-government-imposter-scams

 https://www.oag.state.va.us/consumer-protection/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=164

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