The Decatur Police Department has seen an increase in reports regarding an old jury duty scam with a new twist.
Scammers are contacting potential victims by phone and claiming to be deputy from the local sheriff’s office. The scammer will then tell the victim they have missed jury duty, and there is a warrant for their arrest.
Sound familiar? Here’s the twist, and what may throw you off. The scammer will inform the victim that if they want to avoid arrest, they will need to pay a certain amount of money to the local courthouse immediately. Scammers use the courthouse as a location to add a level of believability.
The victim is then instructed to obtain prepaid cards, money pay cards, or green dot cards to pay the fine. Most related scam calls are near the closing time of the local courthouse.
Once the victim obtains the cards, they then go to the courthouse only to find the office closed. Scammers hope the victims will panic and contact the scammer to ask what to do next.
Scammers then tell the victim they can simply pay over the phone by giving them the card numbers and the scratch-off codes on the back of the cards.
Usually, the victim will contact the local courthouse the next day to check on the resolution of the warrant for missing jury duty and discover they never had a warrant, and they’ve been the victim of a scam.
The Decatur Police Department would like to remind citizens to be very cautious of this scam and any phone calls requesting immediate payment.
Law enforcement, including the Decatur Police Department, will never call you and ask for money over the phone to resolve a warrant.
If you have missed jury duty in Morgan County, contact the Clerk’s Office at 256-351-4723, and you will be instructed on what steps to take.
Contact the Decatur Police Department at 256-341-4660 if you have been a victim or have any questions regarding this scam.
Source: Decatur Police Department