In April, a South Riding resident received a call claiming they had won cash and prizes, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.
This scam is nothing new for law enforcement, but the victim believed the caller's instruction that they needed to send tax money before the prize could be awarded.
The victim followed instructions to pay with a prepaid money card, and continued to provide more money during additional requests, until realizing this was a scam.
The FBI offers these tips on avoiding phone scams:
- If you are asked to pay any money out of pocket before the prize will be released to you, it is a scam. It is also illegal under federal law.
- Never pay any money from your bank account or through money wire payments or payment cards like Green Dot MoneyPak, PayPal or any other cards or form of payment.
- Never play along with the caller. Report the matter to law enforcement.
- Be suspicious of anyone asking you to send money.