Police Warn of Phone Scammers

The City of Falls Church Police Department has recently received complaints about phone call scams relating to kidnappings, unpaid bills or taxes, and missed court appearances. According to the police, community members should make a plan to educate themselves, verify information, and report these scams when appropriate.

“Your best bet course of action is to be aware of the scams and not give in,” said Police Chief Mary Gavin in a statement. “It’s especially important spread the word to neighbors who might be susceptible to scams. The best way to stop these scams from happening is to just hang up. If the scams don’t work, the scammers will move on.”

There are a number of resources on the internet about recent phone call scams, the police report. One important note is that scammers have been using new phone technology to manipulate caller IDs and to make customers believe that the call originated from a legitimate company’s phone system. The phone number could also look like it is coming from a local area code, or even a familiar number. Scammers might even be using a victim’s own phone number as a spoof.  When receiving a phone call where someone unknown to a victim asks for information or money, that call should be hung up immediately.

A particularly alarming scam is about a kidnapping. The scammer makes one think a child or grandchild has been kidnapped with an immediate ransom required for safe return. An actor screams in the background to create panic. The scammers use aggressive tactics and won’t let the you hang up until money has been transferred. Anyone receiving this call should hang up the phone and verify that the child is, indeed, safe and where expected to be.