The Virginia State Police Wytheville Division Headquarters received roughly 50 phone calls Saturday from Northern Virginia residents inquiring about a phone call from a "trooper" who demanded money to avoid arrest.
The scammer has "spoofed" a legitimate state phone number with a 276 area code so he can appear credible, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
The caller identifies himself as a representative of the Virginia State Police and says the individual has a warrant out for his/her arrest, must turn him/herself in and then demands payment be made in order to avoid arrest. The caller may request credit card information, bank account information or payment in the form of a gift card, Geller said.
State police never call individuals to notify one of an arrest warrant. The Virginia State Police never requests payment for any service, debt, etc. over the phone.
"These scammers can get very aggressive and be very convincing in their demands, and are also using legitimate Virginia State Police phone numbers to call from - known as 'spoofing,' Geller said.
Virginians are advised to simply hang up on the scammer and to never give out any personal information.
Again, Virginia State Police will never solicit funds from the public in any manner and do not give any personal information to someone alleging to be doing so. If you feel you have been a victim of any scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency.