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ACPD: No, We Don’t Call and Demand Payment Via Prepaid Debit Cards

To combat a new scam, Arlington County Police are making it clear: they’re not going to call and threaten to arrest you unless you pay them with a prepaid debit card.

The department says it has received several reports of residents receiving unsolicited phone calls claiming to be from an Arlington police officer. The caller asserts that the victim has “an outstanding warrant for their arrest” for an unpaid fine and demands payment, threatening to arrest the victim unless a payment is received via — it’s then revealed — prepaid debit cards.

“The Arlington County Police Department is reminding citizens that agency representatives have never and will never call to solicit funds or collect fines,” police said.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is warning the public about a telephone scam that uses the threat of arrest to extort money from potential victims.

Several residents have reported receiving unsolicited phone calls claiming they have an outstanding warrant for their arrest. The caller claims to be a Captain with the Arlington County Police Department and demands immediate payment for an alleged fine. Through threats and intimidation, the caller attempts to convince residents to purchase prepaid debit cards and provide the identification numbers which allows the scammers to obtain the money from the cards.

If you receive a call of this nature with someone claiming to be a member of Arlington County law enforcement, immediately hang up and verify the claim by calling the Emergency Communications Center at 703.558.2222.

Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Scam

The Arlington County Police Department is reminding citizens that agency representatives have never and will never call to solicit funds or collect fines. Reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a scam by following these crime prevention tips:

  • Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls.
  • Never use a phone number provided to you from the caller to verify their credibility.
  • Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don’t have ties and did not initiate contact.
  • Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller makes you uncomfortable or says things that don’t sound right, hang up.

Report Scams

After making a verification call, if you find that you were a target or victim of a scam, please file an online police report or call the Emergency Communications Center at 703.558.2222.

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