Scammers appeal to parent's worst fears to try and trick them
Scammers seem to be getting a bit more sophisticated in their approaches. The person who reported this is "Dave."
According to Dave, he received a call from someone who identified himself as his son. The caller sounded "frantic," saying he'd just been in a car accident. He could also hear sirens and police chatter on a radio in the background.
Then, someone else got on the phone and identified himself as “Daniel Harris,” and said he was calling “from the courthouse.” He told Dave that his son had been in a an accident, and that it was the son's fault because he had been using a cell phone while driving.
Dave was instantly suspicious because, although he has a son, he's only 13-years-old and obviously not driving yet. He did say, however, that the scammer seemed to know some other things about his son, possibly from trolling social media.
Dave asked for his supervisor and “Daniel” said he was in a meeting. Dave heard in the background: “This one’s an a**hole.”
The number used was (757) 832-5475. Dave said he believed these people were American - based on their diction - and not people running a scam from an offshore location.
Although Dave was savvy enough to pick up on the fact that this was a scam, he's concerned that others might not. He told us: "It was pretty clever and scary and I could see some parents easily falling for this."
We want to remind everyone that when you make personal Information available on social media, this can be enough for scammers to get their hooks into an unsuspecting victim.
Never provide more information or send money to someone calling you like this. Instead, report the fraud attempt.
If you've been subjected to a scam attempt like this, please contact the Norfolk Sheriff's Office's Consumer Protection Unit to file a report.