North Carolinians continue to receive calls from phony sheriff’s deputies who claim they skipped jury duty and a subsequent court date, according to the office of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. 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.
These con artists are trying to exploit your fear of getting on the wrong side of the law, and hoping they can squeeze money out of you before you realize it’s a scam. The North Carolina Attorney General’s 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 protect yourself, remember:
- 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 Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or completing the form online at www.ncdoj.gov.