Safety Team

Deputy Steven Curtis
Crime Prevention Unit
CHAIR PERSON: Rod Montgomery
VICE CHAIR: Jeff Johnson
Mark Brindise, John McCravey, David Osborne, Jonathan Libby, Matt Wheeler
HELP REQUEST SCAM: The Stafford County Sheriff's Office has been receiving reports on an uptick in the number of "help request" scams that are targeting houses of worship in Stafford.

"Help Request" scams (or "boss scams") are ones in which the scammer will create an email that is similar to or seemingly associated with a leader of an organization. This could be a principal of a school or manager of a business; in these cases it is faith leaders of houses of worship.

In these emails the scammer, who will impersonate the faith leader, asks for help or assistance with something and need gift cards or other kinds of money transfers. This could be as simple as suggesting the faith leader is tied up in a meeting and YOU are the only one who can help them by going and getting them some gift cards. They will reply back to and responses you send and encourage you to get more and more gift cards and provide them the numbers on the card to use.

This kind of scam preys on a place of worship's members to want to help their faith leader and the trust they have in them. It is advised to ignore these emails and instead bring it up to that faith leader or place of worship staff directly in person or by phone.

This uptick in these scams seem to focus on the south end of Stafford County in the White Oak and Route 17 area, however this is good information to keep in mind regardless of your house of worship. Remember, this is also a type of scam that can target businesses, schools, and other organizations.

The best way to prevent scams is to keep one another appraised of how they operate. Please feel free to share this information freely.