Jeffersonton VA

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Beware – IRS Scam can lead to SWATting

SWAT (free clip art)

SWAT (free clip art)

Press release from Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office:

Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of IRS scam operations, and Sheriff Scott Jenkins is warning residents that there is a new element to the scam: “swatting.”

The crime of “swatting” is making a hoax call to 9-1-1 to draw a response from law enforcement, usually a SWAT team, and CCSO had an incident of it this weekend, when deputies responded to an unfounded report of a person with a gun in the 14600 block of Carrico Mills Road at about 6 p.m. Friday, May 15, 2015. When deputies arrived, they found that the resident did not call 911, but they had received an IRS scam call in which the caller told them that they owed thousands of dollars to be brought immediately to a Washington, DC address or they would be arrested. When the victim told the caller they would borrow the money from their Police Officer friend, the call disconnected, and the caller sought revenge by reporting a person with a gun at the victim’s residence.

Residents are encouraged to report IRS scam calls to Culpeper dispatch (540.727.7900) so that dispatchers can give the additional information to responding deputies if they receive a subsequent “swatting” call.

As a reminder, the IRS reports that they will NEVER:
– call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill,
– demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe,
– require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card,
– ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, or
– threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

And:
Caller ID “spoofing,” which allows the caller to adopt a fake phone number and/or name, may be another element of the operation, so residents should not automatically assume the information displayed in their caller ID accurately identifies the caller.

Culpeper Police Department Participates in Click It or Ticket Campaign

Traffic Stop (photo provided by Culpeper Police)

Traffic Stop (photo provided by Culpeper Police)

Press release by Culpeper Town Police:

Would you ever ride a roller coaster without the harness down? Would you ever skydive without a parachute? When you ride in a motor vehicle without a seat belt, you are taking the same huge risk.

Seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death during a crash. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive and distracted drivers. Major Chris. B. Settle along with DMV’s Virginia Highway Safety Office encourages everyone on the road to wear their seat belts during every trip, day and night.

Virginia law requires all front seat occupants of motor vehicles be restrained, and any passenger from birth to 18 years old be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat or seat belt. Virginia law also requires that rear-facing child restraint devices be placed in the back seat of a vehicle. “It’s the law in Virginia to wear your seat belt and make sure children are in a car seat, and doing so will save your life during a crash,” said Chief Chris R. Jenkins.

Click it or ticket logo

Click it or ticket logo

Law enforcement officers across Virginia and the nation will be out in full force during the national Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization, May 18 through May 31, looking for seat belt violators. “Not only do you risk getting a ticket, but by not wearing your seat belt, you risk severe injury and even death,” said Chief Chris R. Jenkins.

Virginia’s statewide seat belt use rate was 77.3 percent in 2014, 79.7 percent in 2013 and 78.4 percent in 2012. Last year in Virginia, 52 percent of all traffic fatalities, or 256 deaths, were unrestrained drivers and passengers. Also, 154 (60 percent) of the unrestrained deaths were people ages 21 to 50, and 65 percent were males. Of the 198 unbelted driver fatalities, 40 (20 percent) had been drinking. Almost half of the unrestrained fatalities in 2014 occurred at night, between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Locally, Culpeper experienced 236 vehicle crashes in 2014. Many of these were during daylight hours. A local survey of drivers conducted in 2015 showed that 77 percent of drivers were utilizing seat belts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts really do save lives. From 2008 to 2012, they saved nearly 63,000 lives nationwide. And in 2012 in the United States, an additional 3,031 lives could have been saved if all unrestrained occupants involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts.

Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office Announces New Graduates and Hires

Blanc, Miller, Jenkins, and Brugoto

Blanc, Miller, Jenkins, and Brugoto

Sheriff Scott Jenkins is pleased to introduce recent graduates Deputies Oliver Brugoto, Mihaela Miller, and Ashton Jenkins and recent hire Deputy Philip Blanc.

Deputy Brugoto graduated Law Enforcement Basic at Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy (RRCJA) Middletown on June 19, 2014, with the Top Academic and Second Place Skills Awards for his class. A Missouri native and avid runner, Brugoto served in the United States Marine Corps from 2000 to 2013. After completing basic training at MCRD San Diego, he served as a rifleman, automatic rifleman, fire team leader, platoon sergeant, and platoon commander, stationed at MCB Camp Pendleton, MCB Hawaii, and MCB Quantico. Brugoto deployed to the Middle East four times: with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2002, Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009 and in 2010. He received numerous meritorious promotions leading to Staff Sergeant in 2008. Brugoto’s certifications include Combat Marksmanship Coach, Combat Marksmanship Trainer, Marine Combat Instructor, Formal Schools Instructor, and MRAP Egress Trainer. He met Sheriff Jenkins in October 2013, when CCSO added a BAE Caiman to its fleet of vehicles. Jenkins hired him in February 2014. No stranger to law enforcement, Deputy Brugoto served as an MP (Military Police) at Pendleton from 2003 to 2004, “proudly serving the people of Culpeper County” currently as a patrol deputy.

Deputy Miller graduated Law Enforcement Basic at RRCJA Fredericksburg on May 28, 2014, with the Second Place Academic Award for her class. Originally from Romania, Miller started working for Culpeper County in 2003. She came from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office to CCSO as an administrative assistant in June 2013. It was working with law enforcement officers at the CA’s office that got her interested in becoming one. She currently serves as a patrol deputy and says, “I love my job, and I know that’s what I am supposed to be doing. I’m working with very knowledgeable and amazing people and learning from them every day.”

Deputy Jenkins graduated Law Enforcement Basic at RRCJA Fredericksburg on November 20, 2014. Jenkins worked residential and government security in Northern Virginia and Maryland for three years. He got interested in law enforcement when a coworker got hired with another agency and put the bug in his ear to apply. Jenkins came to CCSO in December 2012 as a jailer. He is a Virginia native and hunts in his spare time. Deputy Jenkins currently serves as a patrol deputy and says, “I’m happy to be a part of CCSO and looking forward to work and assisting the citizens of Culpeper County.”

Deputy Blanc currently serves as a bailiff. A native New Yorker, Blanc worked at the New York Police Department for 15 years as a patrol officer and firearms instructor at the 9th Precinct on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He moved to Virginia and worked at Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office for three years in the jail and courts divisions and at Fairfax County Police Department’s animal services division for 19 years before coming to CCSO in November 2014. Blanc says he got interested in law enforcement when his uncle- who was an NYPD officer and whose father was an NYPD officer- told him to join the Police Department. He has always been interested in racing motorcycles, cars, and dirt bikes and restoring antiques. Sponsored by Suzuki in NMRA/IDBA (National Motorcycle Racing Association/International Drag Bike Association) racing, he had the fastest AA stock motorcycle in the United States for five years.

IRS Scams Reported in Culpeper County

IRS Tax scam (free clip art)

IRS Tax scam (free clip art)

Press release from Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office:

Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of IRS scam operations – for a total of 18 since January 1.

The caller identifies himself (or herself) as an employee of the Internal Revenue Service and tells the victim that they owe unpaid taxes. If the victim protests, the caller may ask for their social security number for confirmation. This is an identity theft scam to obtain personal information, including birthdates, bank account information, and credit card numbers. To obtain money, they may threaten to freeze the victim’s assets or send law enforcement to arrest them. Conversely, the caller may tell the victim that they are due a refund to obtain personal information.

Caller ID “spoofing,” which allows the caller to adopt a fake phone number and/or name, may be another element of the operation, so residents should not automatically assume the information displayed in their caller ID accurately identifies the caller. Some victims are reporting that the call/message is automated.

The IRS reports that they will NEVER:
– call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill,
– demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe,
– require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card,
– ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, or
– threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

In addition to telephone scams, residents should be wary of e-mail phishing scams, where the e-mail appears to be from the IRS and includes a link to a fake web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site (e.g., IRSgov – without a dot between “IRS” and “gov). Clicking on the link or an attachment may download malicious software onto a computer. The IRS asks that recipients forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

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