Jury Duty Scammers Continue to Target Unsuspecting North Carolina Citizens
The caller says a warrant has been issued for your arrest, or soon will be, but you can pay a fine now and avoid being arrested
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is urging consumers to be on alert for a tenacious scam that continues to rear its ugly head across the state.
Stein says that North Carolinians are continuing to receive phone calls from phony sheriff's deputies. The caller claims that you skipped jury duty and a subsequent court date. As a result, a warrant has been issued for your arrest—or soon will be—but you can pay a fine now and avoid being arrested.
Beware—these con artists are trying to exploit your fear of getting on the wrong side of the law, and are hoping that they can squeeze some money out of you before you realize it's all a scam.
Stein says that his office has received dozens of reports about jury duty scams so far this year, and six people have fallen victim. Victims of the jury duty scam report losses of about $1,000 each.
All of the victims were instructed to use Green Dot Money Pak cards as their method of payment. These prepaid debit cards—and gift cards like iTunes cards—have become scammers' preferred way of getting their hands on your money. This is true of IRS scams as well as many others.
To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, Stein urges all consumers to remember the following:
- Real notices for jury duty arrive by mail.
- Legitimate 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.
- Hang up on jury duty scammers and other crooks who try to trick you out of your hard-earned money.
- If someone tries to get you to use a prepaid debit card or a gift card to pay money they say you owe them, you are almost certainly being scammed.
If you get one of these calls, report it to your local police department and file a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.