HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – State Police have recently been alerted of an increase in phone scams targeting sex offenders.
Officials say the consistent theme among these scams has been phone fraudsters threatening people into paying large amounts of money in the form of gift cards.
Police say the phone scammers are calling offenders claiming to be a “Lieutenant Johnson” from the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office. The scammers claim that there is a warrant for their arrest for failure to provide a DNA sample, or the warrant can be removed for a fee.
The scammers then provide instructions on how the payment should be submitted. Police say it is usually in the form of a gift card from a local business.
According to police, the scammers will often manipulate caller ID, to make the number appear to come from a nearby police office or local sheriff’s office.
State Police oversees the sex offender registry and says they will never ask for payments to be released from a warrant. Police advise to not give the caller any information and never provide any form of payment.
If you receive such a call, hang up and contact your local law enforcement agency or the Virginia State Police at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (804)674-2467.