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‘Relative in need’ scammers hit Fauquier County

Tuesday, Jan. 14 | By Mark Grandstaff | Google+
Fauquier residents, be on alert for phone scammers.

The Fauquier County Sheriff's Office has heard from several people that they have received phone calls stating a family member has been abducted and/or injured and needs help. The caller is requesting money or the family member will be hurt.

"If you receive a call from a number you do not recognize it is best to ignore the phone call. This scam has been reported nationwide," the sheriff's office said on its Facebook page.

Deputies offer the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of the “relative-in-need” scam:

■ Avoid volunteering information over the phone. Always ask callers to identify themselves by name and ask individuals who contacted you to provide information that only you and people close to you would know.
■ Call the friend or relative claiming to need your help to confirm whether the story is true, using a phone number you know to be genuine. If you aren’t able to contact the person, call other friends or family members to confirm the situation.
■ Refuse to send money via wire transfer.
■ If you have wired money and it hasn’t been picked up yet, call the wire transfer service to cancel the transaction. Once the money has been picked up, there is no way to get it back.

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