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07/13/2023 3:32pm

This page shows a list of scams shared by the McLean Police Department through their newsletter.

Scam Alerts
11/16/2023 3:43pm

Archived Scams


Charitable Scams

We watch the news to stay informed and so do scammers. Scammers will exploit the generosity and kindness of individuals by creating scams.

To protect yourself from falling victim to such scams and ensure your donations are going to a legitimate cause, here are some tips to consider:

  • Donate to charities you know and trust.
  • Research the organization. Check the charities through the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving AllianceCharity NavigatorCharity WatchCandid.
  • Be wary of giving to individuals you do not know personally on crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe.
  • Do not donate to anyone who insists you pay by cash, gift card, wiring money or cryptocurrency.
  • Confirm the number before text to donate.

For more information on charitable donations go to - Federal Trade Commission/charity scams


Do you know the term "jugging"?

It is when criminals watch a victim from location to location waiting to steal money or higher end items that were just recently obtained. An example of jugging is when a criminal sits outside and watches people go into the bank, make a transaction and then walk out with a large sum of money with the intent to steal the money.

In a recent incident that occurred in Fairfax County, the victim withdrew $9500 from the bank. When the victim returned to their vehicle and began to drive off the tire pressure light illuminated. The victim exited the vehicle to inspect the tire when the suspect approached the owner carrying a backpack offering the assistance of a tire repair kit. As the victim was tending to the tire, the suspect stated that another kit was needed and left. When the victim sat back in the vehicle, they soon realized that the envelope containing the large sum of money, which was in the center console, was now missing.

Through investigation, the officers were able to determine the suspect was watching the victim as they arrived and left the bank. The suspect punctured the tire and followed the victim as they drove away.

***It is important to understand that "jugging" is a term described for criminals committing criminal acts.***

To protect yourself from becoming a victim, the FCPD encourages community members to take precautions such as:

1. Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to anyone who may be observing your activities.

2. Conceal cash and items: Store cash in a discreet manner, such as in a purse or wallet and avoid displaying bank bags or envelopes that may draw attention.

3. Vary your routine: Criminals often look for patterns, so it is advisable to change your habits regarding banking and cash withdrawals.

4. Secure your vehicle: Ensure that your vehicle is locked, windows are closed, valuables are not visible and reducing the likelihood of becoming a target.

5. Report suspicious activity: If you notice someone acting suspiciously or believe you are being followed. Report it to the police as soon as possible.

Spoofing and Phishing


Spoofing is when a caller falsifies information making you believe it is coming from a trusted source. The scammer will script the message so they can gain money and/or personal information.

Fairfax County Police Department will never call you and demand any form of payment (to include gift cards) to resolve a legal matter such as a warrant, failing to report for jury duty, etc.


 *DO NOT answer unknown numbers

* DO NOT use any links or phone numbers in an email, text or voicemail

* DO NOT confirm your identity or give out personal information.

* If unsure it is a scam do your own research to verify.

* Resist the pressure to act immediately

* Scammers are pleasant in the beginning but will become aggressive to intimidate

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, please file a report through our Financial Crimes Online Reporting system


Phishing scams are when they use spoofing techniques to make you believe it is coming from a trusted source when in fact it is not legitimate.

Scammers prey on victims by instilling fear and worry in situations that require immediate attention. They do not give you a moment to process what they are saying and does it makes sense. Scammers are masters at manipulation but with some tell-tale signs you can recognize it is a scam so you do not become their next victim.

How to tell if it is a phishing email or text:

  • They use common, well-known companies most individuals use on a daily basis such as Amazon, UPS, Netflix, Apple, financial institutions, and government agency - IRS, Social Security.
  • They will inform you there is suspicious activity on your account or billing.
  • The email, text , voicemail is generic and usually does not address you by name.
  • You need to confirm personal or financial information.
  • Spelling and grammatical errors
  • Mismatched email domains



Door to Door soliciting:  Fairfax County requires a solicitors licensed for someone to solicit service at your door (there are very few exceptions).  If someone comes to your door here are a few tips to remember and ask:

  • They can only solicit between the hours of 9am to 8pm.
  • If you have a “No peddler or Solicitor” sign posted, they may not solicit even if they have a solicitor license.
  • They must show the license upon request and leave the premise immediately if asked to leave.  Do you know what a valid Fairfax County solicitor’s license looks like? 
  • Research the company, ensure they are licensed and bonded and ask for referrals.
  • ALWAYS get a detailed contract as to what exactly you want done and do not pay them all at once.   Ideally pay never in cash and always get a receipt for payment. 
  • For more information on Door to Door Soliciting and to view what a solicitor’s license looks like go to - Door-to-Door Solicitors | Cable and Consumer Services (

Always remember if seems too good to be true, it generally is not true. 

If you are ever unsure about a situation being a scam, verify it first by contacting friend or family or calling our non-emergency number (703)691-2131.

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