Authorities Warn Public Over Jury Duty Scam

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

The phone rings, and the caller on the other end says he or she is an officer of the court, calling to let you know you have missed your jury duty and there is a warrant for your arrest.

After you deny getting a notice, the caller offers to clear your record, but will need some information for "verification purposes". That's where you get scammed.

"The intimidation factor comes into play. Being a government agency, some people get shook up when law enforcement comes into play. They want to be as cooperative as they can, but they still have to be aware of what's going on with these out there," says Captain Tony Gonzalez, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office.

Jury scams have been around for years, but in the recent months there's been a surge in communities in over 10 states, including Florida, Oklahoma and Virginia.

"The mailing of any information is sent by certified mail. You'll be on the roster and they'll check on those. They may have deputies to check, but for subpoenas, they will be delivered by an officer," says Gonzalez.

The Houston County Sheriff's Office wants you to give them a call if you get any suspicious phone calls.

Deputies say it's better to let the law investigate the callers to put a stop to the scam.

Deputies say it doesn't take your social security or bank account information for someone to steal your identity. Thieves can steal your personal information just by using your name and address.

If you think you've received a scam call, call the sheriff's office at 677-4888.

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