CHESTERFIELD, Va. -- It's a crime that started with a telephone call. In this case Chesterfield Police said the caller claimed to be an employee with the Chesterfield Sheriff's Office. The caller told the victim she missed her Grand Jury duty and there were warrants for her arrest. To remain free, she must pay a fine.
The victim was instructed to buy a pre-paid debit card and put more than $2,000 on it before sending the card numbers to the suspect. And then, the suspect told her to go to the Sheriff's Office to have the charges against her dropped. Upon arrival at the Sheriff's Office, the woman realized she had been duped.
"It doesn't surprise me," Chesterfield Police Lt. Steve Grohowski said. "[Scammers] will use any type of … large business or government organization and come up with a story and try to get people to give them money through these pre-paid debit cards."
Grohowski said they are starting to see more of these crimes in the county.
"They are using a local phone number, but that's probably a spoofed phone number," explained Growhowski. “We do have investigative avenues that we're working on to try to locate and find out who these people are."
Grohowski offered some advice to folks to consider when answering the phone.
"Don't give out personal information. Don't even go out and get one of those debit cards, reload able money cards," he said.
Investigators said there have been two other incidents reported, but the people who received the phone calls did not send money.
If you have any information about this crime that can help police or if you're a victim, please call Chesterfield County Police Department at 748-1251 or Crimesolvers at 748-0660.