Richmond Police warn of rise in ‘money to resolve legal issues’ phone scam
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Police are warning the community about a scam they’ve received several calls on regarding police officers asking city residents for money to resolve legal issues.
It’s a scam police say tends to come back around this time of the year and Christmas.
”We’ve had several reports. I would say in the city of Richmond, at least ten in the last couple of weeks,” Sgt. Nicholas Castrinos, with RPD, said.
Scammers will call victims explaining they have a warrant for their arrest or that they’ve missed a court date that requires an immediate payment through gift cards or payment apps.
Criminals are getting so crafty they’re even posing with the real names of RPD officers.
”We’ve had them use police officer’s names who are employed by the Richmond Police Department as well as other jurisdictions, and those are valid employees of those police departments,” Castrinos said.
Police say thieves also get around the caller’s I.D. on your phone.
”The caller I.D. on the phone can be spoofed and will occasionally say the city of Richmond or a Richmond sheriff’s number that is not valid,” Castrinos said.
Richmond police believe at least four of these cases are connected based on the name of officers being used and how potential victims are being contacted.
In the past when they’ve seen victims in this trend of obtaining money under false pretenses lose thousands of dollars.
”So typically, what we’ll see is a scammer will, for the lack of a better term, get you on the hook, and they’ll start with a lower amount,” Castrinos said. “Then they’ll work their way up. We’ve seen upwards of tens of thousands of dollars that people have been scammed out of.”
If you receive a call and are concerned you may have missed a court date, RPD recommends you call the court to verify the information first.
”Richmond Police Department will never ask you for money for a legal matter,” Castrinos said. “That is adjudicated through the court system and through the bond system that the magistrate sets forth, not the police department.”
If you receive this type of scam call, you’re asked to hang up and call the police immediately.
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