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Two Phone Scams Targeting Local Residents

Officers with the Winchester Police Department are warning residents about two phone scams targeting people in the area.
WINCHESTER, Va. - Officers with the Winchester Police Department are warning residents about two phone scams targeting people in the area. 

The first scam reported is a caller who says he's from "My Windows Support Technical Maintenance Department" and is calling about a problem with your computer. Victims say he then asks if you can log onto your computer, so he can fix the issue. When asked where he is calling from the man states he's from Miami, Florida. Police say he is known to say, "Go to your Windows computer and I will show you what I'm talking about." 

Police say this is a scam in which they access personal information off the computer, or they claim they have gotten rid of viruses on your computer, and then charge you for it.

The second phone scam going around, is one that involves local residents receiving a call from someone who claims they have just won a Publisher's Clearinghouse prize of several million dollars. The caller tells the person on the other line not to tell anyone about this. One local resident said the individual knew personal information about her, including her address. The caller then tells the person to go to a local store and purchase a "Green Dot MoneyPak Card" and to load $500 to it. The victim is then told to mail the card to a certain address to receive their winnings. 

When the card is mailed no money is returned, and the victim is out the amount that was loaded onto the card. 

Although these scams may look obvious to some, others may not be aware. The Winchester Police Department is offering tips to help prevent folks from becoming a victim themselves. 
  • If your receive a call and have caller ID, please look at your caller ID. If it is a number that you don't recognize or if the number is blocked it is best not to pick up the phone. If it's someone who need to get in touch with you, they will leave a message. 
  • Phone scammers often tell you to not tell anyone about what you've won, they tell you that it's a secret. They often make references to religion. 
  • Never give your personal information to anyone over the phone. 
  • You don't have to give money to receive money. 
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 
If you believe you have been a victim of a phone scam, please contact the Winchester Police Department at (540)-662-4131. 
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