Sheriff's office receiving calls regarding jury duty scam
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Albemarle County Sheriff's Office wants to warn residents about a jury duty scam.
According to a release, scammers are posing as deputies with the sheriff's office and threaten to arrest the victim if they do not pay a fine.
Callers are posing as a "Sergeant Davis" who claims the victim is about to be arrested for not appearing for jury duty.
The scammer also says the victim can avoid being arrested by paying a fine.
The Albemarle County Sheriff's Office says it has recently received an increased number of calls from people regarding this type of scam.
The release says the scammers often provide information that is convincing, including the real name and location of the courthouse, court phone numbers, and case and badge numbers.
In some cases, they have even spoofed the phone number from the sheriff's office.
Recently, the scammers have been including information such as a potential victim's maiden name, work address, home address, and date of birth.
The caller says they can pay the fine and walks the victim through buying a prepaid debit or gift card or making an electronic payment to satisfy the "fine."
“The people conducting this scam can be very convincing. They call their law-abiding victims and terrify them with threats of arrest and jail unless they pay up immediately," said Sheriff Chan Bryant. "The Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office personally serves grand jury summons. If you were scheduled to serve on a grand jury, you would have received paperwork delivered to your residence by the Sheriff’s Office. If we have a warrant for your arrest, we will show up at your house, we will not give you a phone call. We do not contact citizens and demand payment or personal information by phone or email."
The sheriff's office also offers some tips on what to do if a scammer calls.
The office says to always be hesitant about providing any personally identifying information over the phone or via text message.
If someone claims to be a representative of a law enforcement agency, residents can contact that agency and confirm the identity of the officer if they are real. The Albemarle County Sheriff's Office can be reached at (434) 927-4001.
Court officials and law enforcement officers will never ask for a credit card or debit card number, wire transfers, or bank routing number over the phone.
Jury summons in Albemarle County are personally issued by the sheriff's office, and officials will not call someone who missed it.
Fines are not imposed until after a person has appeared in court and had a chance to explain why they did not appear for jury duty.
To determine if a person was or was not summoned for jury duty, they can call the Albemarle County Circuit Court Clerk's Office at (434) 972-4083.
All scams can be reported to the Albemarle County Police Department by calling (434) 296-5807.