If you get a call from someone threatening to have you arrested for missing jury duty — and especially if that person wants money to take care of the arrest warrant — don’t go along.
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann is warning citizens about a “jury scam.” The scam has occurred repeatedly and involves someone posing as a law enforcement official on the phone.
The scammer will typically tell the victim that they are calling from a sheriff’s office, police department or the district attorney’s office. The individual will then threaten the person with arrest because the person didn’t appear for jury duty — unless the person pays a fine. The scammer will then instruct the victim to purchase a pre-paid credit card and to give the card’s information to them in order for the arrest warrant to be dropped.
McCann warned that the scammers are able to provide fabricated information in order to make the scenario more realistic.
“As with most scams, the call seems legitimate,” McCann said in a press release. “The scammers are able to provide badge numbers of an officer or court official, names of courtrooms and addresses and even make caller ID appear as if they are calling from a governmental agency.”
In one case, the victim received a call from someone posing as “Deputy Sheriff Eddie Biggs.” The scammer told the woman that she missed jury service and that officials issued a warrant for her arrest. The scammer then instructed the woman to purchase two Green-Dot cards worth over $200. He then had the woman give him the numbers on the back of the cards and to go to “Courtroom 403” to verify that her arrest warrant was dropped. When the woman arrived at the courthouse, she realized she had been scammed.
McCann urged citizens to be aware that there’s no such thing as paying a fine to avoid an arrest warrant. “All warrants must be served and then resolved by a court,” McCann said.
The Denver District Attorney’s Office advised people to not relay any personal information or money to a caller. If you receive a scam call with caller ID information, report the information to the local U.S. Marshals Service office at 303-335-3400 or to the local FBI office at 303-629-7171. You can also report any suspicious phone calls to the Denver DA’s Fraud Hotline at 720-913-9179.