Crime, News

Scammers Spoofing F.C. Police Numbers

Scammers are spoofing City of Falls Church Police phone numbers to try a scam victims out of money, police are warning the public.

According to police, a recent phone scam trend spoofs, or fraudulently displays, actual Falls Church Police Department phone numbers on victim’s caller IDs and then impersonates F.C. Police officials and advises the victim to look up the phone number where the call is originating from. Police say the scammer then uses intimidation tactics, such as the threat of arrest, to demand payment of money purportedly owed to the government.

In a press release, the City of Falls Church Police Department advises the public that it will never call and request payment for fines, traffic tickets, or bail over the phone. All these transactions are conducted by the respective court systems and never over the phone. Police will also never call an individual to threaten arrest or remove an arrest warrant.

If anyone receives a call from an individual that claims to be a City of Falls Church Police Officer and is unsure of its validity, police say to hang up and call the Falls Church Police Dispatch, non-emergency number 703-241-5050 (TTY 711) to confirm they are speaking with a legitimate official within the Falls Church Police Department.

According to police, Caller ID spoofing is a scam that deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise the scammer’s identity as well as appearing as an official organization or entity. Spoofing is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally. Scammers will oftentimes know the victim’s full name and their extensive background, such as birth date and names of family members.

Police warn that residents may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Indicators of scam calls are threats, orders to not hang up and other statements about immediacy. Police say to never give out personal information (such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, or passwords) in response to unexpected calls if you are at all suspicious.

Visit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) page on Caller ID Spoofing for more tips and other spoofing scams to be aware of: www.fcc.gov/spoofing.

If residents suspect they have been a victim of this scam, police ask them to call the City of Falls Church Police Department at 703-241-5050 (TTY 711).

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