Sunday, February 5, 2023

Police warn of new scam targeting sex offenders

(Photo by SCREEN POST from Pexels)

STATEWIDE — Virginia State Police (VSP) are warning residents of a new scam that is targeting people who are on the Sex Offender Registry.

Police say scammers have been recently calling people on the registry, and threaten the recipient in order to get the offender to pay large sums of money, according to a press release from VSP.

During such calls, scammers will tell the offender that there is a warrant out for his or her arrest for “failing to take a DNA test.” The scammer then says that the offender can avoid arrest by paying a fee, before directing the recipient of the call on how to pay. Usually, payments are made in the form of gift cards to local restaurants.

The fraudsters often identify themselves as Sgt. Johnson of the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office. The callers use pre-paid phones and have been reported to manipulate caller ID.

VSP reminds residents that they will never be asked to pay a fee to remove a warrant. Anyone who receives such call should not provide information or any form of payment.

Residents should then contact VSP, who oversees the Sex Offender Registry, by emailing questions@vsp.virginia.gov or calling (804)674-2467.

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