RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Several Chesterfield County residents have fallen victim to a phone scam under the guise of the sheriff’s office, losing thousands of dollars in the process.
According to Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office First Lieutenant Joshua Fahy, one resident shelled-out $2,700, while another lost $900.
Fahy says the scammer pretends to be a member of the sheriff’s office, indicates the caller failed to show for jury duty, and if they do not provide payment, a warrant for their arrest will be issued.
“They will tell them that they’re going to either need to get a prepaid card, they may have them do a phone cash app and transfer the money that way or they will even have them get a large sum of money and drop it off someplace,” Fahy told 8News Wednesday.
In some instances, scammers use the name of actual deputies and mention the sheriff’s office address in an attempt to coerce belief.
Fahy says one elderly woman nearly made a huge mistake after receive a fake call.
“She had, in excess, of $10,000 in her possession when she contacted us,” Fahy said. “Luckily, in a few cases, we were able to stop the people prior to dropping off the money or making a transfer.”
In May, the Richmond Sheriff’s Office warned of a similar scam.
Fahy said it is difficult to know how many people have received the scam call and how many people have reported them. He says that alarmed residents may complain to the court clerks, police department, or the sheriff’s office.
While Fahy says his office doesn’t have a recording of a scam call to share with 8News, he says they’re in the process of narrowing down suspects.
While no arrests related to the Chesterfield investigation have been made, Fahy said, “we do have individuals that we are working on, but it’s nothing that we could release because of the terms of the investigation.”
Because jury trials have resumed in Chesterfield County after being put on hold during the first months of the pandemic, someone may find it all the more convincing they didn’t show up for jury duty.
“The sheriff’s office would never contact you and ask you for money. They would never contact you and tell you to pay money to make a charge go away,” Fahy added.
Anyone who received a similar scam call is asked to contact the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office at (804) 748-1261. Questions related to jury issues can be addressed to the Chesterfield County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office: (804) 748-1241.
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