Scams and Scam Alert from 703-324-1000

ItFairfax County Silver Shield Task Force graphic logo is estimated that people will be spending about 730 billion dollars. Scammers will try and steal not only money, but also the gifts you are purchasing for family and friends.

Here are the top 10  scams expected.

  • Sham order confirmations.
  • Bogus shipping notices.
  • Shady email scams.
  • Cloned websites.
  • Disappearing packages.
  • Fake charities, and they are endless and shameless!
  • Unreal relatives in distress.
  • Sob stories on social media.
  • Phony classified ad listings.
  • Intercepted data.

Now that you have a list of possible scams, here is what to do and what not to do to prevent them. These tips should be followed all year long as more people are shopping online. This information is from AARP's Fraud Watch Network

What to Do

  • Do hover your mouse over the link without clicking and you can view the URL. Click through only if you’re certain it’s a legitimate site.
  • Do pay by credit card. That way you can dispute charges and limit the damage if it turns out you were scammed.
  • Do research unfamiliar retail, travel and charity sites online. Search for their names with terms like “scam,” “complaints” or “reviews,” and look them up on evaluation and information sites.
  • Do look for return and refund policies when shopping on an unfamiliar or suspicious site, and make sure they are clear.
  • Do carefully examine gift cards at the point of purchase. Signs of tampering could mean a thief has accessed the card’s PIN code and can drain its value as soon as someone buys and loads it.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t conduct financial transactions on a site unless the URL begins with “https://” or there’s a padlock or unbroken key icon in the address bar or at the bottom of the browser window. These indicate a secure connection.
  • Don’t buy anything online while using a public Wi-Fi network. It might not be secure.
  • Don’t make a purchase or donation if a website or caller seeks payment by wire transfer, gift card or prepaid card. These are like forking over cash. 

Multiple residents are receiving calls from 703-324-1000 (our MyFairfax online portal help line) that claim their Fairfax County data has been compromised and they will need to call another number to set up fraud protection.

This is a scam, or better known as a phone spoofing scam.

Do not call any secondary number and give them personal or county information if you receive this or any similar call. This number is being spoofed, and below is some helpful information when dealing with phone spoofing. If you are supposed to receive a call from MyFairfax, once received, please hang up and call MyFairfax directly.

What Is Phone Spoofing?

Phone spoofing is when scammers show false information, such as local area codes or numbers that look familiar and will try to impersonate a vendor or government agency as the first step to interact with whoever answers the call. The below best practices can help you to identify, or at least avoid, spoofing scams:

  • Don't answer calls from unknown numbers.
  • If you receive an unexpected call do not assume it is legitimate. Hang up and call back using a number you can verify on a bill, statement, or official website.
  • Do not give out personal information, such as Social Security numbers or passwords.
  • Use extreme caution if pressured for a financial transaction.
  • If a caller asks you to hit a button to stop taking calls, just hang up.



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