News releases and stories from NSO Times

Norfolk Residents Targeted in GreenDot MoneyPak Scam Using NSO Employee Names

green dot cardThe Norfolk Sheriff's Office has been notified that a Norfolk resident was recently swindled out of thousands of dollars in a Green Dot MoneyPak Card scam. The resident was told that she failed to appear at a trial during which she was supposed to be a witness. The victim stated the number on the Caller ID returned to the main number for the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office and the caller mentioned the names of several Norfolk Sheriff’s Office personnel during the conversation. The caller stated the victim owed multiple fines for failing to appear in court and was instructed to use a GreenDot MoneyPak card to send the money to the Sheriff’s Office or she would be arrested.

THIS IS A SCAM.

As a reminder, the Norfolk Sheriff's Office will NEVER call asking for money and will never utilize GreenDot MoneyPak cards as a form of payment.

Here are a few tips to help residents avoid falling victim to this scam:

• Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
• Never give card number and/or receipt information from your MoneyPak purchase to someone you don’t know or share that information by email or phone.
• Remember, government agencies will never contact you demanding immediate payment using a MoneyPak card.

ADDITONAL INFORMATION:

GreenDot MoneyPak cards themselves are legitimate products when used for the right purposes. Once purchased at a participating retailer with cash, consumers can use MoneyPaks to reload other prepaid cards, add money to a PayPal account without using a bank account, or make same-day payments to major companies. Because the cards can only be bought with cash, consumers never need to disclose their personal or financial information to a retail cashier or to make a payment. While many schemes still involve scammers asking for funds to be wired to them, MoneyPaks have the added benefit of the scammer not having to show up at an office to claim the funds. Anyone with the 14-digit number found on the back of the MoneyPak card can drain the card of funds. In all of these examples, the intended victims are instructed to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak cards, load the amount of the fine or other money owed onto the card and then provide the number on the back of the card to the scammers, who will then drain the funds from the card.

YOU’VE FALLEN VICTIM TO THE SCAM, NOW WHAT?

If a resident has fallen victim to this scam and sent money to the callers, they should call the Norfolk Police Department's Economic Crimes Division at 757-664-7018 to file a report. Additionally, please contact the Norfolk Sheriff's Office's Consumer Protection Unit to file a report.

File a Fraud Report

 

Unsubstantiated COVID-19 treatment claims appear on social media platforms

FTC Consumer Alert

Since the pandemic began, the Federal Trade Commission has sent hundreds of cease and desist letters to companies that claimed their products and therapies can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19. The sellers promoted their products and services through a variety of outlets, including social media.

Social media platforms have played a major role in conveying information about how to help stop the spread of COVID-19. But just because the information is running on a platform you use doesn’t mean it’s accurate or truthful. Right now, no one can afford to take information at face value. Before you act on a message you’ve seen or before you share it, ask — and answer — these critical questions:

  • Who is the message from? Do I know them? Do I trust them? Am I positive they are who they say they are?
  • What do they want me to do? Just know something — or are they trying to get me to act in some way? Do they want me to buy something, download something, or give up personal info?
  • What evidence supports the message? Use some independent sources to fact-check it — or debunk it. Maybe talk to someone you trust. But always verify, using a few additional sources. Once you’ve done that, does the message still seem accurate? Approaching information by asking and answering these questions can help you sort out what’s helpful…and what’s a scam. So, for example, if the message is about a treatment or cure, you know where to go: Coronavirus.gov.

Bottom line: when you come across information, stop. Talk to someone else. Focus on whether the facts back up the information you’re hearing. Good, solid evidence will point you in the right direction. Then decide what you think and what you want to do with the message – pass it on, act on it, ignore it, or roll your eyes at it. And if you suspect a scam, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov so we can shut the scammers down.


November 18, 2021
by Colleen Tressler
Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

NSO K-9 Team Certified to Assist With Project Lifesaver Program

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Media Contact: Jamie Bastas
 October 29, 2021
(757) 589-5692
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The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce Deputy D. Klutts and his partner K-9 Bajos have completed the necessary requirements and obtained their certification in tracking through the Virginia Police Work Dog Association (VPWDA). With this certification, Deputy Klutts and K-9 Bajos will be available to assist the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office with the Project Lifesaver Program.

Deputy Klutts and K-9 Bajos, a socialized 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, have been working together for 12 months and previously certified in narcotics detection. On Monday, they obtained their certification in tracking after five months of training with the Chesapeake Police Department. The team is required to re-certify every year. In the coming weeks, K-9 Bajos will obtain narcotics courier certification.

Project Lifesaver International is a 501 (C)(3) organization that assists public safety officials in locating individuals with cognitive disorders who have wandered. The program, founded in Chesapeake, VA in 1999, has become a proven, effective method of finding at-risk missing persons who have cognitive disorders. The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office joined the Project Lifesaver Program in 2001. Since then, the NSO program has successfully rescued more than 400 missing people, which is the most rescues out of over 1,600 Project Lifesaver public safety organizations nationwide.

“Each day the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office strives to make a difference in the lives of others. Through the Project Lifesaver Program and now with the assistance of Deputy Klutts and K-9 Bajos we have the opportunity to locate missing individuals and reunite them with their loved ones. I am thankful for the time and effort our personnel put into making the Project Lifesaver Program a success and working to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe,” stated Sheriff Joe Baron.

The NSO Project Lifesaver Program is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you live in Norfolk and have a loved one who meets the Project Lifesaver eligibility requirements, contact Master Deputy Reed at 757-328-2485 or visit https://norfolk-sheriff.com/community/project-lifesaver.
 

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