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by ARLnow.com September 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm 3,902 7 Comments

Police say an increasing number of Arlington residents are getting phone calls from scamsters claiming to be bill collectors.

The police department issued the following press release today regarding the fraudulent phone calls.

The Arlington County Police Department has recently seen an increase in reports of telephone scams. There have been at least four instances where a man with a thick Indian accent has called victims claiming to be a bill collector. This suspect was quite aggressive over the phone and one woman was pressured into giving him her bank account number.

These, and all phone fraud cases may be prevented by utilizing simple tips regarding your personal information.

  • Never give your credit card info out when you receive a phone call. Legitimate companies don’t call you to ask for a credit card number over the phone.
  • Never give your bank account, social security, or credit card number to anyone you don’t know or cannot trust.
  • If the person is from a legitimate bill collector, they should have paperwork to prove it.
  • Say no to any offer or deal that is only available “right” now.
  • If you are offered a prize but are asked to pay for a “processing fee” or “taxes” is advance, it is likely a scam.
  • Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity, this includes police department “unions or associations”.
  • Don’t pay in advance for services. Pay services only after they are delivered.
  • When an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Other popular scams are elaborate stories concerning a friend or loved one.
  • A friend e-mails you from a foreign country where they were robbed and need money wired for assistance.
  • Someone has hired a “hitman” to kill you, but if you pay him, he will spare your life because you are a good person.
  • Your grandchild is stranded in a foreign country and needs money wired to them to get home.

The Arlington County Police Department understands that it may be embarrassing to fall for these scams, but we urge you to report phone and e-mail fraud if you encounter it at 703 228-4300 or www.arlingtonva.us/police.

by ARLnow.com April 25, 2010 at 5:12 am 3,094 15 Comments

Arlington residents are being bombarded with mysterious, repeated hang-up calls from a Wyoming telephone number at all hours of the day and night.

At an online message board, dozens of people identifying themselves as residents of Arlington and other Northern Virginia communities have swapped stories of receiving calls from the same phone number, 307-459-1039.

Upon picking up the phone, the mysterious entity at the other end hangs up.

By some accounts, the calls are coming in every two or three hours.  Most people mention receiving calls on Friday and Saturday. Others report having received calls for the past week.

Tamar Abrams, a Huffington Post blogger, wrote about receiving the bizarre phone calls at her Northern Virginia home. A Verizon operator reportedly told Abrams that an investigation into the calls is underway.

Calls to 307-459-1039 are greeted with a recorded message saying that the line has been disconnected.

Other localities around the country have reported getting repeated calls from the same 307 number. A Connecticut newspaper reported last month that the police department in the coastal town of Stonington received “hundreds of complaints” about the calls.

Although the number traces back to Cheyenne, Wyoming, some have theorized that the caller ID may be faked, or “spoofed,” and that the calls actually originate from overseas.

Update on 4/26 — The Arlington County Police Department says it has received more than 150 complaints about phone calls from the 307 area code. Police released the following statement:

Preliminary investigation reveals calls were received from this telephone number in Arlington, Alexandria, and parts of Maryland. Detectives are currently working with agencies from local jurisdictions, communications personnel, and several telephone providers. At this time, it appears that the telephone calls may have been the result of a computer dialing error.

Representatives at Verizon state that although the calls were not generated from a Verizon account; they are in contact with the service provider involved. A Verizon spokesperson stated that Verizon customers who are receiving the annoying telephone calls may contact them at (800) 257-2969 to initiate a courtesy trace for two weeks. Non-Verizon customers may contact their respective telephone provider to report any annoying calls.

The Arlington Police are aware of the issue and are actively working to resolve it. Arlington residents wishing to report telephone calls related to this matter may email Detective Diane Guenther at [email protected] (preferred), or call (703) 228-4242.

Verizon has also released a statement, via police.

“Verizon security is working with the carrier who has this number {a} to block that number from reaching Verizon’s network – and our customers – and {b} to investigate ultimately who’s responsible for this. We are not happy about this, and we sympathize with our customers and the level of annoyance this has caused them.”

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