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News releases and stories from NSO Times

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Media Contact: Deanna LeBlanc
 April 3, 2020
(757) 589-5692
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Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron announces formation of new Consumer Protection Unit

NORFOLK, VA (April 3, 2020) - Amid the rise of COVID-19 related scams, Sheriff Joe Baron is pleased to unveil a new tool to fight fraud: The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office Consumer Protection Unit (CPU).

The CPU will serve as a ‘one-stop-shop’ where residents can report potential scams and be quickly linked to all available resources. The mission of the Consumer Protection Unit will be to educate residents on how to protect themselves from con-artists, scammers, and criminals looking to take their hard-earned money or worse – their identity.  Through vigilant attention to trends across the country, the CPU will also issue “Fraud Watch” warnings to the public.

Sheriff Baron leads the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office with the vision of making a difference in the lives of others as far as we can reach -- that includes doing our part to ensure the people of Norfolk are able to enjoy their lives without constant fear of fraud or theft. 

“After witnessing first-hand how an unscrupulous sales tactic almost took advantage of my neighbor – a sailor working hard every day to serve our country honorably, I was inspired to create this new unit,” Sheriff Baron said. “In these uncertain times, it’s more important now than ever that we do everything we can to ensure the livelihoods and identities of those living in the Mermaid City are protected.”

The Norfolk Police Department Economic Crimes Division and the Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney's Office provide primary local law enforcement capability. The CPU works with those agencies, plus the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia and federal partners to put an end to the unscrupulous tactics that negatively impact our neighbors.

Members of the public are invited to visit to learn more.

The Norfolk Sheriff's Office is a values driven organization
committed to 
public safety, public service, and public trust.

FBI logoScammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Don’t let them. Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information onthe virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up yourpersonal information in order to receive money or other benefits. The FBI advises you to be on the lookout for the following:

Fake CDC Emails. Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize. Fraudsters can use links in emails to deliver malware toyour computer to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment. Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received.

Phishing Emails. Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to:

  • Charitable contributions
  • General financial relief
  • Airline carrier refunds
  • Fake cures and vaccines
  • Fake testing kits

Counterfeit Treatments or Equipment. Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns, and gloves. More information on unapproved or counterfeit PPE can be found at You can also find information on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website,, and the Environmental Protection Agency website, Report counterfeit products at and tothe National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at

If you are looking for accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19, the CDC has posted extensive guidance and information that is updated frequently. The best sources for authoritative information onCOVID-19 are and You may also consult your primary care physician for guidance.

The FBI is reminding you to always use good cyber hygiene and security measures. By remembering thefollowing tips, you can protect yourself and help stop criminal activity:

  • Do not open attachments or click links within emails from senders you don’t recognize.
  • Do not provide your username, password, date of birth, social security number, financial data, orother personal information in response to an email or robocall.
  • Always verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser.
  • Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (for example, an address that should end in a”.gov” ends in ”.com” instead).

If you believe you are the victim of an Internet scam or cyber crime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at



sentara logoSentara Warns Community of COVID-19 In-Home Testing Scam

A Virginia Beach resident notified Sentara this weekend of a scam involving a caller who claimed to represent Sentara and offered a home visit for coronavirus testing. The caller claiming to be with Sentara told the resident they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, then asked to come to the resident’s home to conduct a test. To be clear, this caller has absolutely no association with Sentara. The resident was correctly suspicious, denied the request and contacted Sentara. We appreciate the warning and are sharing it with the communities we serve. We have also notified local authorities.


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