SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Suffolk Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of strangers posing as deputies to scam community members.

In a release from the sheriff’s office, officials say the scammers have been identifying themselves as Suffolk County deputies and contacting residents by phone, and even approaching them at their homes.

The suspected individuals have allegedly threatened victims with an arrest warrant and told them to pay with a gift card or turn themselves in immediately to authorities.

If you receive these kind of phone calls, do not give out your personal information.

The sheriff’s office says they will never request this type of information by phone or in person.

Tips to protect yourself:

  • Don’t assume the information displayed on your caller ID is accurate
  • Never give any personal information unless you know exactly with whom you are dealing.
  • When in doubt about who you are talking to on the phone, hang up and call the main number for the business that the scammer is representing.
  • Report all fraud attempts to the Suffolk Police Department at 757-923-2030

If you are ever in doubt, call the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office at 757-514-7840.