Jury Duty Scammers Still Targeting Unsuspecting Victims With Phone Calls Threatening Arrest
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Jury Duty Scammers Still Targeting Unsuspecting Victims With Phone Calls Threatening Arrest

a fake public official claims that an arrest warrant was or will be issued for your arrest, but that you can pay a fine now to settle the matter

October 1, 2019

What would you do if you got a call from a law enforcement officer who said you that you skipped out on your jury duty and that a warrant had been issued for your arrest? It would probably send you into a panic. But that's what scammers are hoping when they pretend to be law enforcement officers and try getting you to pay a 'fine' to avoid arrest. Real law enforcement officers will never do this.

Calls like this are always scams

Scammers know that you want to avoid being on the wrong side of the law and use the anxiety most people have when speaking to a law enforcement officer to push you into paying money you don't owe. They hope that the anxiety they create with the false threat of arrest will get you to pay up before you realize it's a scam. Sadly, many people pay up.

Dollar Amounts are often small

The scammers operating this con usually go for small dollar amounts in order to get quicker payments from unsuspecting victims. Victims of this type of scam usually report losses of around $1,000.

Prepaid debit or gift cards are sure sign of scam

Victims of this scam and other phone scams are usually advised to make payment with prepaid debit cards or gift cards, such as Green Dot Money Pak cards or iTunes gift cards. This is the preferred way that scammers want your money since it's impossible for you to get it back once it's gone and it's nearly impossible to trace. As soon as you read the numbers on the card to the scammer, the scammer has already emptied the card of all money and disappears.

If someone is asking you to make a payment via prepaid debit cards or gift cards, stop talking to that person right away. It's a scam.

Avoid this scam

Sometimes it's difficult for even the most informed people to spot a scam. But there are a few things to remember about jury duty scams that can help you spot them.

  • Real notices for jury duty always arrive by mail.
  • You never have to pay money to participate in the jury process.
  • Real public officials won't call to threaten you with arrest if you don't show up for jury duty or fail to pay a fine immediately.

REPORT ALL SUSPECTED SCAMS

If you are or suspect that you are the victim of a scam or some other illegal practice, you should file a complaint. Doing so can help protect your rights and protect others from becoming victims. If you suspect you are dealing with a scamming, you should first stop all contact to minimize that chances of further losses. Don't respond to scammers via phone, text message, email or postal mail.

In North Carolina, you can report scams and other illegal practices to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office. If you live outside North Carolina, report it to your state Attorney General. You can also submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which is co-sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).