Scam & Fraud Awareness
Police consistently receive reports of scams occurring in James City County and surrounding areas. Please make sure that older adult friends and family members know about scams because they are often targeted by criminals.
Important Things to Know
- Never wire or provide numbers from a prepaid card to anyone over the phone without verifying the validity and identity of the caller.
- Never provide personal information (such as date of birth, social security number or bank account information) to someone over the phone or via email.
- Neither Dominion Energy nor the IRS will ask you to make payment via wire transfer or prepaid cards; this is not normal business practice for most legitimate companies.
- Law enforcement officers will not call you on the phone and request payment for a fine in lieu of arrest.
Report a Scam
If you receive a suspicious call, email, computer/smart phone pop-up or another type of contact that you believe may be a scam or you think you may have been the victim of a scam, report it to police by calling 757-566-0112.
Examples of Common Scams
Listed below are some examples of scams being seen in our area (scams are not limited to these examples):
- A "grandchild" (or the "attorney" or "bondsman" for a grandchild) calls stating that he or she has been arrested and needs you to send money for an attorney or for bond.
- A "Medicare Agent" comes to your door or calls selling a prescription plan or other health insurance coverage or you receive a call requesting you to verify your Medicare number to maintain coverage.
- A utility company calls stating that you are past due and your electric service will be shut off if you do not pay immediately.
- An "IRS Agent" calls stating that you owe back taxes and will be arrested if you do not pay immediately.
- Caller states that you have missed jury duty and must pay a fine immediately or you will be arrested.
- Caller states that you have won the lottery or a sweepstakes and must pay taxes or shipping fees in order to receive the funds (or other prize).
- You receive a bill in the mail from a credit card company that you did not open an account with.
- You receive a call from someone representing themselves as a police officer with a local law enforcement department explaining that you have missed court and must pay a fine immediately or you will be arrested.
- You receive an email or message via another source from a friend or family member who advises that they have traveled out of town and got mugged or injured and need you to send money.
- You receive payment for an item you are selling on Craigslist (or other classified-type forum) that exceeds the sale price and are told to send the difference back to purchaser, only later to find that you have been sent a counterfeit check or cashier’s check.