generic Fauquier County Sheriff's Office

The Fauquier County Sheriff's Office has taken multiple reports of a phone scam recently, the sheriff’s office said in a post on Facebook.

In the scam, a caller says they are employed or associated with Publishers Clearing House and tells the victim “they have won millions of dollars, but they need to pay a processing or registration fee to get the money,” the sheriff’s office reports. The caller them tells the victim to go to Walgreen’s Pharmacy and purchase a Vanilla Visa gift card, usually for around $300.

The caller will then tell the victim he will call him back in an hour or so in order to give them time to go and purchase the card. Once the victim purchases the card and calls the subject back, the scammer requests the activation numbers from the card. The money is withdrawn from the card and the victim does not hear from the caller again.

“If you are contacted by someone who requests that you purchase gift cards to pay a bill, settle an account, or claim a prize do not do it,” the sheriff’s office warns. “Verify the legitimacy of the transaction through other means before continuing. Reputable businesses and government agencies do not demand payment via gift cards.”

For more information on this scam, visit


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