RPD urges locals not to believe phone scammer impersonating detective


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police are warning citizens about a phone scam that took thousands of dollars from one person.

“They’re pretty much terrified when they call us, they don’t know what’s going on,” said Lt. Anthony Papaleo, describing how people react when they get one of the scam calls.

Papaleo said locals are getting calls from someone pretending to be a Richmond Police detective.

“They’re targeting the senior community,” Papaleo explained.

The scammer calls and tells the person they have a warrant on file and need to pay it immediately by giving their credit card information or buying a green dot card. They tell the person if they do not pay, they will be arrested at their home. Papaleo said this would never happen.

“We would never call you on the phone to advise you you have a warrant on file, nor would we take payment for any type of warrant,” he told 8News.

However, one scammer used the name of a real Richmond Police detective to make it more believable.

RELATED: Police warn residents of phone scammer impersonating Richmond detective

“That would actually scare the individual more into believing they have a warrant on file and they’ll be more apt to give their information,”said Papaleo.

One woman was even scammed out of thousands of dollars. After that case, a few more people called Richmond Police saying they got similar calls.

Police said their real detectives will take the scam numbers and try to find where they came from.

“It’s hard, but it’s solvable,” Papaleo said.

Richmond Police say they would never call you if you have a warrant on file.

If you get a call like this, do not give out your information. Write down the phone number and call Richmond Police to find out if it is a scam.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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