Kill Devil Hills police urge caution as another resident falls victim to high-dollar scam

Published 9:31 am Thursday, December 14, 2023

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The Kill Devil Hills Police Department has reported that town residents continue to fall prey to scams, with another senior citizen being tricked out of nearly $10,000.

On December 1, 2023 a Kill Devil Hills resident reported that she was browsing the internet and received a “virus alert” warning from Microsoft. “After calling the number on the warning message (314-626-4142), the victim was told her identity had been compromised,” stated a KDHPD news release. “The victim was asked details about her financial institution by the scammer. The victim was transferred to a ‘representative’ of her bank and was told her bank account was compromised. The victim was directed to withdraw all the money in the account, purchase gift cards and then provide the gift card information to the ‘representative’. The victim was told her money would be kept safe for her and once her identity fraud case was resolved the money would be returned.”

The 80-year-old victim complied with the instructions by going to her local bank, withdrawing $9,800 and purchasing gift cards from various retail outlets in the area.

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To date in 2023, Kill Devil Hills residents have reported losses to internet scams totaling approximately $62,000, with individual losses ranging between $80 and $29,000. According to KDHPD, the most common scam has been the sale of dogs through Facebook Marketplace. This figure does not include reports of fraudulent checks, stolen credit card numbers, and other forms of identity theft.

KDHPD cautions that scams – especially online scams – are particularly difficult to investigate and solve. The scammers use throw-away email addresses and phone numbers and use masking software to hide their location. Their digital footprints are a mirage, virtually impossible to follow.

“Awareness, caution and a perpetual attitude of skepticism about any unsolicited warning, offer or contact by unknown persons is the best defense against falling victim to a scam. If you are responding to any sort of online advertisement, verify the credibility of the seller (or buyer),” stated KDHPD. “A quick online search of phone numbers, email addresses and even names can result in some helpful information to guide your decision-making.

“And finally, if you are in a position to do so, please keep an eye out for any unusual financial activity from your clients or customers. If you notice any suspicious behavior, take a moment to check in with them. For instance, if an 80-year-old senior citizen withdraws almost $10,000 in cash from their local bank, it should raise a red flag.”

Cyber-crimes/fraud can be reported online to the FBI at If you have any questions about online offers, warnings or other activity, call KDHPD at 252-449-5337 during business hours and 252-473-3444 after hours.