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Valley resident reports phone scam

The Augusta County Sheriff's Office got word of a phone scam happening in the area on Monday morning. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Lieutenant Leslie Snyder said a local resident received a call Monday morning from a number that appeared to be from the sheriff's office. Someone identifying themself as a “Deputy Cook” said the resident had missed jury duty and needed to gather up financial documents and report to the sheriff's office immediately. But there is no “Deputy Cook.”

LESLIE SNYDER: There's no way of really tracking down who is behind doing all that. It's just like the scams over the internet, it's so hard to just track down one specific person who's doing that.

Snyder said the scammer did not ask for the financial information to be relayed over the phone. 

SNYDER: She disconnected the phone call, and I'm not sure if, you know, if it would have went further if they would have asked for that or not. We were just trying to cut it off before we got multiple phone calls.

According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers can spoof their caller ID to mimic other phone numbers and appear trustworthy.

SNYDER: Even if the number looks legit, if it's asking for anything personal, financial, anything like that, I would hang the phone up, call the number back that called, and see who it comes back to.

Snyder said that the sheriff's office will never call and ask you to bring in financial documents, or try and get money from you over the phone.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.