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The verdict is in: Local phone calls about jury duty are a scam

NELSON COUNTY GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Monday, March 20, 2017, 11:30 p.m. (Updated 2:05 p.m.) — Nelson Circuit Clerk Diane Thompson is advising Nelson County residents to be aware of a telephone scam now directed at local residents regarding jury duty.

962b4399-e8c1-458a-a552-774095772ff2-large16x9_1280x960_70126C00IXGJB (1)According to Thompson, the caller, posing as a Nelson County Sheriff’s deputy, tells the individual that they failed to report for jury duty and they must pay a fine. They are being asked to submit a certain amount of money prior to appearing in court Friday.

She reported that she received several phone calls Monday morning about the scam.

Those who have been called say the callers is very convincing, and they are told failure to pay the fine will lead to their arrest today.

During the phone call, the scammer may request your personal information, including social security number, date of birth, etc. In some cases they may get enough information to steal an individual’s identity.

Neither the Nelson Circuit Clerk’s Office nor the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office will call people who fail to report for jury duty and ask them to pay a fine or request personal information, Thompson said.

In a press release issued Monday afternoon, Sheriff Ed Mattingly said the jury scam is more than 10 years old.

“We do not do business over the phone.  Jury forms are mailed to individuals and show cause summons are served in person,” he said. He added that the sheriff’s office doesn’t accept payment for any fines; the Circuit Court Clerk collects all fines.

According to a press release about jury duty scam on the FBI’s website, the scam isn’t a new one, but it made a comeback about a year ago, with victims reported in more than a dozen states.

The FBI release advises consumers to safeguard their identity by never giving out their personal information to anyone over the telephone.

For more about the jury scam, visit the FBI’s website.

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