By Public Information Officer Amanda Vicinanzo
January 13, 2020

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to receive reports from residents who have lost thousands of dollars in a phone scam involving Green Dot MoneyPak cards and Vanilla cards.

Here is how the scam works:

The victims are contacted by a caller who claims to be a member of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. The caller informs the victim that there is a warrant out for their arrest for missing jury duty and that they can avoid arrest by paying a fine immediately using gift cards, such as Green Dot MoneyPak cards, which can be purchased at a local store. The victim is then instructed to provide the card information over the phone and to send the cards to the Stafford County Clerk of Circuit Court.

We are asking the public to be vigilant. Here are a few ways you can help:

• Educate your elderly family members and friends about this scam
• Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you unsolicited.
• Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers or gift card numbers to someone you do not know.
• Remember that law enforcement agencies will not contact you demanding immediate payment by MoneyPak.
• Report suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Office by calling (540) 658-4400.