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Posted on: March 26, 2020

Police Warn of Scams During COVID-19 Pandemic

Scams News Flash

Police remind citizens that legitimate businesses will not ask you to purchase prepaid debit or gift cards and provide the numbers on those cards. This is not normal business practice.

Dominion Energy scams continue in our area. Scammers call unsuspecting residents indicating that their power will be disconnected within the hour if they do not provide immediate payment over the phone using a prepaid debit or gift card. This is a scam! For more information, visit Dominion Energy’s website.

Law enforcement officers and court personnel will not call you on the phone and request payment via prepaid debit card or gift card to avoid arrest. These calls have some variations in that the caller may indicate that you missed jury duty or a court appearance. This is a scam!

There are many new scams appearing surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. These include fraudulent COVID-19 tests, vaccines and/or treatment options, work-from-home schemes, phishing emails requesting personal and financial information in order to receive a stimulus check or other financial relief offer and more. These are scams!

Scammers often create email accounts similar to legitimate email accounts and spoof legitimate phone numbers in an attempt to victimize people. Be aware of this and NEVER provide personal or financial information or numbers from prepaid debit or gift cards over the phone, by text, in a computer popup or by email unless you have verified the recipient.

If you receive any unsolicited request to purchase a prepaid debit card or gift card and provide those numbers to the requestor, it is probably a scam. If you are unsure about a request or an offer that you receive, please contact JCCPD at 757-566-0112 before providing any personal or financial information or purchasing prepaid debit cards or gift cards.

It is imperative for everyone to remain vigilant. This is a trying time for all of us, and unfortunately, this creates many opportunities for scammers to take advantage of folks.

For more information, please visit the COVID-19 Scam page and JCCPD’s Fraud Alert page.

Media Contact:
Stephanie Williams, Police Spokesperson
757-592-5618; Stephanie.williams@jamescitycountyva.gov

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