News releases and stories from NSO Times

Social media scams are becoming more common - learn how they work

The Norfolk Sheriff's Office has received reports of individuals falling victim to scammers who promise services on social media platforms to the victim, receive money in advance for their services, then fail to deliver.
One woman who was scammed sent up a series of screenshots from her smartphone, and we decided to use these screenshots to illustrate a typical manner in which scams like this work.
Note that we chose to mask the ID of the perported scammer as this person has not been identified, nor charged with a crime.

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    In this first screenshot, we see the (eventual) victim asking the scammer about services she believes that the scammer can provide.

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    They continue their discussion about the services, and the victim sends the scammer a first payment of $40 using CashApp.

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    They then begin discussing when the services will be performed.

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    As they continue to discuss what the scammer will do, and when, the scammer introduces the need for the victim to pay an additional $50 for the scammer to travel to the victim's location.

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    Skipping ahead to a later day, the scammer requests that the victim provide her with the travel fee in advance, and once again provides a link to do so.

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    The victim hesitates at first, but then agrees and sends the scammer the $50 travel fee in advance, again via CashApp.

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    The scammer then acknowledges having received the travel fee, and confirms the time and date, along with the cost for the services to be performed.

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    Skipping ahead a bit, the scammer failed to show up to perform the services and the victim tries to locate her for an explanation. The person she contacts says it wasn't her, but her "cousin" using her phone. This person apologizes and says she'll make good on returning the money the victim paid in advance.

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    Later, after having failed to reimburse the victim as promised, the scammer offers to send the victim $12 - presumably as a "goodwill gesture." The victim tells the scammer this is unacceptable and threatens legal action.

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    At this point, the scammer's account suddenly disappears from Instagram, and now the victim has no recourse to recover her lost money.

The woman who fell victim to this scam tells us she thinks the person who scammed her is the same person who claimed it was her "cousin" doing the scamming. She said she also believes the scammer just changed her online ID and is still trying to defraud people in the same manner.

If you believe someone had attempted to scam you like this, or you feel you've fallen victim to something similar to this, please contact the Norfolk Sheriff's Office's Consumer Protection Unit to file a report.

File a Fraud Report


Hear the message from an insidious new phone scam by someone posing as a NSO employee

Phone Scam AlertHere at the Norfolk Sheriff's Office, we've issued many warnings about scammers posing as NSO employees trying to scam vulnerable residents into sending them money for one reason or another.

Recently, a resident received such a message, but this time the caller didn't mention any specific threat, but simply told the recipient of the call that he had "some confidential legal matters" to discuss with them and that they should call back to a specific phone number that is NOT the one he's calling from.

You can hear the actual message HERE (Note that we've bleeped out the last name of the person who received this message and reported it to us):

Here's the transcript of what he said:

This is Lieutenant Snyder with the Norfolk Sheriff's Office making initial call for Donna (redacted). Mrs. (redacted) I need you to contact me back at your earliest convenience. I do have some confidential legal matters to discuss with you. You can reach me directly at 757-699-9153. Again, that's 757-699-9153.

The recipient of this message wisely did NOT call the number provided, but instead reported it to us. Presumably, if they had called the number back, the scammer would have tried to con them into sending him money.

Note that this phone number has NO association with the Norfolk Sheriff's Office, and was NOT the number which showed up on the recipient's caller ID.

When our Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Consumer Protection Unit called the number back, “Lt. Snyder” answered. The OIC identified himself and confronted the scammer, at which point he hung up. 

As a reminder, the Norfolk Sheriff's Office will NEVER use a phone call to request money. 

If you have received a call like this, DON'T CALL THEM BACK! Instead, please contact the Norfolk Sheriff's Office's Consumer Protection Unit to file a report.

File a Fraud Report




SCAM ALERT! Virginia residents getting scam calls from VSP “Trooper” or "Lieutenant."

state police logoVirginia State Police reports that fraudulent telephone scams involving police impersonation are on the rise again! 

The scammer has "spoofed" a legitimate VSP phone number with a 276 area code to appear credible.

Please hang up on this person & see the tips below on what law enforcement DOESN'T do...

Phone Scam Alert!

- Caller is very convincing & claims to be a police officer/investigator/trooper or reaches you on Whatsapp.
- Caller ID shows valid Virginia State Police phone #.
- Scammer falsely claims your identity has been stolen or you have a warrant for arrest & you need to send $$ ASAP for the charges to be cleared.
- Scammer asks for $$ to be transferred or wired to an account OR asks you to buy/send gift cards.

- Law enforcement never contacts citizens by phone to request payment OR to clear arrest warrants.
- Law enforcement never requests payment by/with gift cards.
- Caller ID is not always accurate - easy to spoof a number.
- NEVER provide a credit card # or account information over the phone.
- Report telephone scams to the Federal Trade Commission at

In Touch

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Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 664-4700

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