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Delgaudio: Dirty Scammers Targeting Seniors In Sterling

April 19, 2014

LCSO Advises Community of Ongoing Scams Targeting Sterling and Loudoun Residents

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is advising the Sterling community of three recent scams targeting residents in the area.

Several area law enforcement agencies are working cases where a caller identifies himself as Lieutenant Gary Fields and claims to be from the resident's local police department.

The caller advises that a warrant has been issued for their arrest. The caller then advises that if a fine is paid immediately, the warrant will be returned. Instructions are provided to the victim to purchase a prepaid money card and provide that number to them for verification. Upon doing so, the funds are removed by the suspect.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office also continues to receive reports of scams involving the IRS.

In recent cases, the caller claims the resident made several mistakes on previous tax returns. The caller tells the resident that a fine has been issued and provides them with instructions on how to obtain prepaid money cards for payment.

Another recent scam is called the "hacker alert scam". In this scam, a caller claiming to be from Microsoft Technical Support indicates that he obtained information that the victim's computer was hacked and he was calling to help. The caller instructs the victim to load "ShowMyPC.com" software which allows the suspect to remotely access their computer. Upon doing so, sensitive information is stolen and used fraudulently.

In virtually all of the cases, the phone numbers have been spoofed where the victim's caller ID showed the call originating from a local number. Caller ID's can be susceptible to fraud as callers can deliberately falsify the number or name relayed on the Caller ID information to disguise their identity.

Also, in many cases, the suspects are conducting their activity from foreign countries. Citizens should be cautious and treat all transactions like they were cash transactions. Be extremely cautious about wiring any money. Although tracking numbers are provided, often the money goes to foreign countries making local prosecution nearly impossible.

If you are a resident of Loudoun County and believe you were a victim of this scam or of a similar scam, please contact the Loudoun County Sheriff's at 703-777-1021 or file a report online at http://sheriff.loudoun.gov/reportonline. Scams are occurring with great frequency and take various forms. Please visit the website http://www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com/ for further information on the variety of consumer scams that are taking place.

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