Sheriff's office reporting numerous scam complaints

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BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Buckingham County Sheriff's Office says it has been receiving complains about various scams, including one that claims to come from a local bank.

This scam involves an email request from a person who says they represent the bank. It asks the potential victim to access their account through their computer to address a problem.

The sheriff's office says a Buckingham County resident who received this message thought it was suspicious and reached out directly to his bank to check on it.

The bank verified that it does not conduct business in the manner described.

Other complaints have involved phone calls claiming issues with people's Social Security number or Medicare account.

The sheriff's office says it has seen reports from across Virginia of other law enforcement agencies reporting similar instances.

Many of the scams involve threats of arrest and paying fines. The scammers frequently tell victims to buy a prepaid credit card to use to pay such nonexistent fines.

The Buckingham County Sheriff's Office offers some tips to avoid becoming the victim of a scam, including never giving out personal account numbers over the phone or online.

People are also advised to always verify the identity of the person who has contacted them and the veracity of the claim by reaching out directly to the institution or agency the person says they represent.

Pushy tactics that make people uncomfortable should be considered a red flag for a possible scam, and officials say never let someone talk you into making a hasty decision.

Law enforcement agencies will never tell a person to buy a prepaid credit card to prevent an arrest.

And any suspicious activity should be reported to local law enforcement agencies.

AARP Virginia also has some tips to help people protect their digital profile, which includes personal things posted online.

With all the technology available now, many pieces of personal information are readily available on the Internet, including home address, employment information, family relationships and more.

AARP says people need to own everything they post in that they realize the potential for the information to be exposed.

All online information should be protected with strong passwords or by using a password manager and enabling two-step authentication protocols where available.

Staying current with the latest security updates on devices and knowing how to safely use public WiFi are also good ideas.

AARP Virginia offers a presentation on how to avoid scams and fraud, which can be presented to groups. For more information on this, send an email to aarpva@aarp.org.

More tips to be safe in a digital world are available at the link in the Related Links box.



 
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