VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — With all the scams out there nowadays, there's one that Virginia Beach police wants you to know about that hits a little closer to home.
Local authorities have been receiving reports in recent weeks that scammers are calling people in the area claiming to be members of the Virginia Beach Police Department.
Here's what happens. The scammer will call you from what appears to be a legitimate VBPD phone number and claim he or she works for the police department using a real officer's name. They will refer to you by your real name. Then, they will tell you that you have an outstanding warrant or missed a court appearance and jury duty.
The caller will demand you send money to them using prepaid gift cards, debit cards or wire transfers. These means of transfer help the scammer avoid jail time.
Officers want to remind you that they, like any other credible law enforcement agency, don't call community members seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants.
Scammers usually can generate a fake caller ID with the use of spoofing to make it look like they're calling from a legitimate number.
Make sure to ask for the caller's identity, never discuss personal or financial information with the caller, don't wire any money and contact police immediately after the call.
Police also want people to consider altering their privacy settings on social media. Scammers often get your number from personal information on Facebook, Twitter or other sites.
If you think you've fallen victim to this scam, call Virginia Beach Police at (757) 385-5000.