Scam tries to collect money for unpaid moving violations tickets

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)—A scam to watch out for, that claims people have unpaid moving violation tickets.

Tonie Daniels  stood on her Chesterfield porch Wednesday and replayed a voicemail message she’d received a day earlier.  In the message a pre-recorded robotic voice states that Daniels must return the call and pay an outstanding debt or bench warrant will be issued for her arrest.  Daniels explains that when she first heard the message she was struck with a sudden fear.

"I've never had a police warrant out or anything like that so I'm uncertain what the procedure is," said Daniels.

The message left a return phone number which she called almost immediately. She claimed a woman answered the line.

"She said hold on let me get an officer on the phone a gentleman came on the phone and his answer was this is the state police,” said Daniels.

Daniels says after the man confirmed her name and home address he told her she was in debt for an unpaid ticket, that a red light camera on 288 in chesterfield had captured her passing through it. Daniels was fairly convinced she had done it--right up until the man explained the payment process.

"He told me specifically that i could only pay this in cash not to use my visa or credit card or check or anything,” said Daniels.

He advised her to buy a prepaid cash card and then call back with the number from that card. She instead called the Virginia State Police.

"They were familiar with the case actually they told me they had other calls,” said Daniels.

Daniels says she's glad she followed her instincts.

"They know everything, they know basically everything about you," said Daniels.

She believes it could have easily gone another way.

"They were so strategic, somebody had to fall for this," said Daniels.

State Police have not yet responded to questions about their efforts to investigate this matter.