Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster is warning that the failure to appear for jury duty scam has returned and this time with a different twist.
In a recent scam, the scam artist called the person and said that they had failed to appear for jury duty. The victim was told that they could avoid jail by obtaining several pre-paid credit cards, photographing them and sending to the scammer to prove they had them, and then mailing them to Clerk of Court’s Office.
Once the card is photographed and sent the scammer, the scammer takes all of the money off the card electronically. When the cards arrive to the Clerk of Court’s Office, they money is already gone. The scammer merely asked the person to mail the cards to the Clerk of Court to add a sound of legitimacy to their scam.
Sheriff Foster said that no one at any government agency is going to demand electronic payment for missing jury duty, warrants, and any criminal or civil offense being handled by the government.
Additionally, Sheriff Foster said that government agencies would never ask for pre-paid credit cards and certainly not suggest that they be sent in the mail.
“In a world were technology makes identifying a scam harder and harder, citizens must stop and think through what they are being told and apply common sense and logic to the situation,” said Sheriff Foster. “If you have a doubt, hang up, look up the number to the agency the person says they are calling from, and call that agency directly. Do not allow the caller to give you the number, look it up so that you can be sure that you are not being routed directly back to the scammer.”
“In fact, if you are you are not sure, you can also hang up and call your local law enforcement agency,” said Sheriff Foster. “Once this money is gone it is highly unlikely if not impossible that we will be able to assist you in getting it back so think and call before you send. It will likely mean the difference on you having your money and giving to a scammer.”