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Old 12-14-2015, 08:58 PM
Howard Hartman Howard Hartman is offline
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Default MPD Warns Public of Fraudulent Schemes

For Immediate ReleaseDecember 14, 2015

MPD Warns Public of Fraudulent Schemes

(Washington, DC) - The Metropolitan Police Department’s Financial & Cyber Crimes Unit would like to make the public aware of several fraudulent schemes that are being perpetrated against D.C. residents and businesses from individuals using untraceable numbers that are “spoofed”. Caller ID spoofing is used when callers can deliberately falsify the telephone number and/or name relayed as the Caller ID information to disguise the identity of the calling party, and typically is from an area code that does not relate to a caller’s actual location.
  1. PEPCO Scam – A call to a business or residence from a person stating, “Your PEPCO bill is overdue and unless you pay $DOLLARS within the next hour your service will be shut off.” This is an attempt to gain money from you that will not be applied to your PEPCO account. In most cases, these funds are not recoverable and you will still owe PEPCO.

  2. IRS Scam – A call from a person stating, “You owe $$$ thousands in back or late Federal or DC taxes.” They may state they are from the U.S. Treasury or D.C. Tax Office, or D.C. Attorney General’s Office (there are many variations), but they demand payment of money immediately or within the hour to avoid arrest or an arrest warrant being issued. The number may have a 202 extension, but any money paid to this scam will typically go to an individual who resides outside of the United States. No amount will be applied to your account and funds are generally not recoverable. If you receive a call of this nature, even if you recognize the scam and do not send any funds, immediately notify the U.S. Department of the Treasury or the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue. See below links:

    Internal Revenue Service:

    Office of Tax and Revenue:

  3. Grants Scam – A call from a person stating, “Congratulations, ‘Mr. or Ms. XYZ,’ the Government finds you are a good citizen (or something similar) and you therefore qualify for a $7,000 or $9,000 grant.” The caller then tells you to pay the grant fee of $242 or some similar amount. If the amount is paid, the caller may contact you again and request additional funds to pay the fund’s transfer insurance or a courier fee. If paid, the caller may call again advising taxes on the grant must be paid, and you need to send another sum of money.
    A variation on this scam is the loan scam where the caller states, “We have a $5,000 loan for you…” In a manner similar to the Grant Scam above, the caller will continue to make contact and request additional money. Generally, once money is sent, the caller will continue to call requesting more money until it is clear that no additional funds are being paid.
  4. Lottery Scam – A caller congratulates you on having won the lottery: “You won $500,000 from Publishers Clearing House, or American Lotto or something similar” The caller requests a fee be paid up front. Courier and transfer insurance fees may be requested. If the initial fees are paid, additional fees may be requested to pay taxes up front. The caller may continue to call with reasons more money is needed or may cease calling after receiving funds from the victim.

  5. Kidnapping Scam- A caller indicates they have kidnapped a relative and asks for money to be wired through Western Union to another location to secure the freedom of the kidnapping victim. Although the phone number may appear to be a local number, the caller is frequently calling from outside the local area.
Be aware of these scams. If you have information about a specific person(s) who is committing these offenses, or if you are a victim of one of these scams, contact your local police department and report it. If you are located in Washington, D.C. and have been a victim, call 911 to have a Metropolitan Police Department officer assist you further. The case will be forwarded to MPD’s Financial and Cyber Crimes Unit (FCCU) for further investigation.

An important guideline to remember is do not provide banking or personal information over the phone or email.

Financial and Cyber Crimes Unit (FCCU)
300 Indiana Avenue, NW - Room 3019
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 727-4159 [Hours: M-F 9am – 5 pm, except holidays]
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