Chesapeake police are warning residents to be on the lookout for phony calls.
There’s a new phone scam out there that’s targeting Chesapeake residents. According to officials, the scammers are claiming to be representatives of the city’s Department of Development and Permits in hopes of snagging personal information.
“It was a man and it was a husky voice. He said that he was calling from the City of Chesapeake permits department,” Chesapeake local Sandy Omen told 13newsnow.com. “He asked for the address and hours that you would be home that they could come to the home. But a child could have picked that phone up and said, ‘Well my mom’s not home right now,’ and they could have been home alone.”
As soon as Omen hung up, she called the police to make a report. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one to call the station about the alarming phone call.
“Scam Alert: The Chesapeake Police Department has learned that some citizens have received phone calls from an individual posing as a representative of the City’s Department of Development and Permits,” the Chesapeake Police Department wrote in a post on Facebook.
“The individual is asking citizens for remodel permits and personal information,” the post continued. “The Department of Development and Permits will never ask for personal information over the phone. If the Department calls you, they will request that you come to City Hall to verify information pertaining to your permits. If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately and report it to the Police Department through the non-emergency line: 757-382-6161.”
Quick Tips for Stopping Scam Calls, According to the Better Business Bureau
Blocking one phone number from calling you won’t work anymore. Nowadays, scammers have found a way to beat the system. Here are a few tips to keep you and your number safe.
1. Avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
This may sound like useless information, but you’d be surprised by how many people still answer calls from unknown numbers. Instead of answering, let the call go to voicemail. If it’s from someone legit, you’ll probably receive a callback message.
2. Don’t fall for the “press 9” trick.
Sometimes scammers will send out automated messages that ask the receiver to “Press 9” to be taken off of their call list. If this happens, hang up. If you do press a number on your keypad, the scammer will know that your phone number is, in fact, an active number.
3. Join the Do Not Call Registry.
Joining the Do Not Call Registry (donotcall.gov) isn’t going to stop all of the scammers, but it should help limit the number of fraudulent calls you receive.
Chesapeake Police are currently investigating this case. If you receive a call or have any information about the unknown caller, please contact the Chesapeake Police Department immediately.