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Sheriff’s Office warns of jury duty telephone scam

This scam involves a threat of arrest for not appearing for jury duty as summoned.

Sheriff Michael F. Strada announced that a long running telephone scam seeking payment for false warrants and overdue payment to the IRS has taken a new twist. This new twist involves a threat of arrest for not appearing for jury duty as summoned.

The scam involves a caller stating that he or she is with the sheriff’s office, will give an officer’s name, and has a warrant for that person’s arrest. The imposter then goes on to say that it can be handled either “civilly” or “criminally” but if they elect to pay a civil fine, there will be no arrest.

The caller will give instructions on using a pre-paid debit card from a major bank or a Green Dot card. The caller will go so far as to give stores where these pre-paid cards can be purchased. Sheriff Strada stated that this is the latest variation to the false warrant scam and the Internal Revenue Service scam demanding overdue tax payments in the same manner. The caller will provide a call back phone number where payment can be made. The phone number is then answered falsely identifying it as the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Strada stressed that legitimate law enforcement agencies will not tell people to provide money card information to avoid arrest. It is further warned that even if the caller has some name or knowledge, the receiver of the call should not provide any personal information such as date of birth or social security information. You should not engage with the caller and instead, simply hang up.

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