Law enforcement officials warn against scam calls and “masked numbers”

Callers are masking as the Augusta County Sheriff's Office. (WHSV)
Callers are masking as the Augusta County Sheriff's Office. (WHSV)(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:27 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office says the latest scam has people using a masked number, even impersonating law enforcement officials.

That means the phone rings and shows a name or area code you recognize. The voice on the other end is often automated, and you are often asked to dial a number to continue the call.

“If it’s an automated voice, that should be your first key. If you push one or push zero and it sounds like someone from another country, you should hang up,” said Lieutenant Leslie Snyder, Augusta County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer.

Snyder said you can always call the number that called you back. If you get a person, you can ask if they meant to call you.

“You can always call that number back that it looked like it called from. If it comes up, ‘Augusta County Sheriff’s Office,’ call the number back and when you get us at the sheriff’s office, we’re going to say, ‘no, nobody called you about whatever.’ Call that number back,” Snyder said.

She said they got a call from an Augusta County resident saying they’d received a call from the sheriff’s office, demanding financial documents because of missed jury duty. Snyder said it wasn’t the office who placed the call.

“Nobody from the sheriff’s office or any state or federal organization is ever going to call and ask for financial information. They’re never going to call and say you’re going to be arrested if you don’t send this amount of money,” Snyder said.

Snyder said to trust your gut. If you think it’s a scam, it’s best to play it safe.

“If you think it’s a scam just hang up. Simple as that. Hang up the phone, try to call the number back. If you get a real live person, inquire,” Snyder said.

If you have any questions about someone claiming to be the sheriff or a deputy, you can call their office at (540) 245-5333.

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