Police warn of scammers using names of Richmond officers

Richmond Police Generic
Posted at 5:47 PM, May 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-04 17:50:50-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Scammers are now posing as law enforcement officials over the phone to scam Virginians out of thousands of dollars, according to Richmond Police officials.

Sgt. Nicholas Castrinos said scammers will target individuals demanding money to resolve legal issues like outstanding warrants or missed jury dates.

Castrinos said callers ask for payment via gift cards or through mail. They also try to take payments through apps like CashApp or Venmo.

Police said there have been at least 10 reports of scams like this in the Richmond area recently, but the trend extends to neighboring counties like Henrico, Hanover, and Goochland.

Detectives say some victims have lost tens of thousands of dollars from the scam.

FULL INTERVIEW: Police warn of scammers using names of Richmond officers

FULL INTERVIEW: Police warn of scammers using names of Richmond officers

Castrinos said the scammers will use numbers that look like they're coming from a police or sheriff's department, even though it's not.

"Unfortunately, this is a scam that seems to roll around this time frame," Castrinos said. "We've had them use police officers' names who are actually employed by the Richmond Police Department, as well as other jurisdictions, and those are valid employees of those police departments."

Castrinos said scammers likely scan websites or social media to find the names and numbers of different law enforcement officers, and then spoof their phone number to make their call look like it's coming from a legitimate number.

Richmond Police said officers will never ask anyone for money directly. If you get a call from someone saying they're with law enforcement requesting money immediately, do not give it to them. Call the police and report it.

Police also advise calling applicable court districts to verify any outstanding warrants or legal fees.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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