Monday, March 20, 2023

There’s a new phone scam in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH — There’s a new scam in town, says the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Amanda Herman, a spokeswoman for the office, announced Wednesday in a news release that a recent phone scam claiming to call on behalf of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s is trying to trick residents.

The phone scam claims as coming from “ARS — a pre-legal division on behalf of the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.”

The caller may leave a voicemail stating they are trying to set up a time for someone to serve arrest warrants and the called party needs to be available at a certain time or someone will arrest them.

The caller may request that you call a number in the 866 area code and try to obtain your personal or bank information.

Herman said “the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney is not affiliated with ‘ARS’ and we do not have a pre-legal division.'”

Related story:  Sheriff’s office warns of scammers posing as Virginia Beach deputies

This is similar to phone scams that impersonated the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office and the Circuit Court Jury Administrator in recent years.

Scammers often tell potential victims they can avoid arrest if they provide prepaid debit or gift cards and read the card numbers back to the caller, according to the news release.

They may also say that your Social Security number has been compromised in an effort to get that information.

The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney said to never provide personal or bank account information to an unfamiliar caller.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle encourages residents to be skeptical of phone calls from people who claim they are law enforcement officials or officers of the court system requesting money or personal information.

Scammers can spoof caller IDs to make it appear the calls are coming from legitimate government offices.

Residents who are concerned they may owe fines or have papers that need to be served can get the number from directory assistance and call that office directly to verify the information, according to the news release. The Commonwealth’s Attorney Office does not call residents to request or demand payment to avoid arrest or jury service.

If anyone receives this type of call, contact the Virginia Beach Police Department’s Economic Crime Unit at 757-385-4101 and provide as much information as possible.

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