Beware of Scammers and Woodchucks
Fraud offenses accounted for 14% of property crimes in Fairfax County in 2014. Financial scams can be committed over the telephone, through e-mail and even in person. Police have responded to reports of scams that range from phone calls claiming they are from the IRS, Microsoft or a computer company, or a power company. They threaten to arrest you, fix your computer for a fee when it’s not really broken, or shut down utilities if you don’t pay up.
One common type of fraud is known as “Woodchucks.” These are criminals who go door to door looking for residents to manipulate or con out of money for very little, or no, services rendered. They particularly target the elderly and neighborhoods that seem affluent and heavily lined with trees. We encourage everyone to be aware of these types of crimes and protect yourself from becoming a victim. Do you know who’s knocking on your door? Here are some helpful safety tips:
- Ask to see a solicitor’s license if someone is at your door selling a service. They are required by law to present it.
- If someone is at your door that you don’t recognize and offering a service that you didn’t request, please do not answer the door.
- If your phone rings and the person on the other end is asking for personal information and/or money, do not give out any information.
Here’s an example of a solicitor’s license:
Need more tips to be safe? Follow this link: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/crime/protect-yourself.htm
We encourage you to report anything that seems suspicious of this nature to the police. Anyone with information on suspected fraud or financial crimes is asked to contact Crime Solvers electronically by visiting www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text-a-tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES(274637)** or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.
Reports can also be made online through Financial Crimes Information and Reporting System: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/financialcrimes/