Authorities warn about jury duty scam making rounds

March 3, 2014 

SARASOTA — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller are warning citizens about “the jury duty scam.”

Sarasota County residents have reported phone calls from people claiming to be a court employee or with the “warrant department.”

They claim an arrest warrant had been issued because they failed to report to jury duty. The scammer will then ask for payment to clear up the matter, typically in the form of a “green dot” credit card.

Once the victim obtains the card and loads the required funds onto it, the scammer asks for the card number and the access code on the back. With the transaction complete, the scammer disconnects the phone number from which they called to avoid detection.

Law enforcement and court employees never request payment over the telephone and never request personal financial information.

“The callers are criminals and the only way to stop them is to just hang up,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Write down what was said, think about it and contact the agency or office the caller claimed to represent to make them aware of the call. Do not fall victim to their pressure.”

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