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Phone Scams Throwing Kitchen Sink at Fairfax Residents

Bill collector? IRS? Desperate grandson? Lottery official? They've all been calling and they're all scams, says Fairfax City Police.

Phone Scams Throwing Kitchen Sink at Fairfax Residents
Phone Scams Throwing Kitchen Sink at Fairfax Residents
Scam artists have been exhausting the greatest hits of phone tricks in the latest police reports from Fairfax City.

On Feb. 27, a surprised local resident was contacted with news that she'd won an undisclosed amount of cash and a car. The catch? She needed to purchase a money card to pay taxes on her winnings.

She bought the money card, and it wasn't until she contacted the card company that she learned she'd been duped. The company refunded her money, according to police.

On Friday afternoon, a caller claimed to be from the IRS, telling a local woman she was in tax trouble — a familiar scam this time of year that has led some area law enforcement agencies to preemptively warn residents.

The woman ignored the call, but contacted police when she kept getting repeated phone calls from the same number. She wasn't alone, a second resident called Fairfax police Monday when she got a similar call and knew that she didn't owe any back taxes.

For another resident, it was a very personal scam that she reported on Saturday: a man claiming to be her grandson said he was in trouble and needed her help, but said not to tell "his parents." When she questioned him, the man hung up. She also contacted police after repeated phone calls from the same number.

Finally, a beauty salon owner was the target of a scam. A man claiming to be a power company bill collector called and threatened to turn off her power in 45 minutes if she didn't pay her electric bill using a money card.

She complied, but received a second call demanding more money. She contacted the power company directly and learned she had been the victim of fraud.

The FBI offers tips for avoiding telemarketing fraud.

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